John Bercow joined Royal Holloway’s Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy in January 2020. He was the Member of Parliament for Buckingham between 1997 and 2019, and sat as Speaker of the House of Commons for ten years, making him the longest-serving holder of the office since 1945. His eventful Speakership covered the aftermath of the 2009 MPs’ expenses scandal, the formation of the 2010 Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition, and the tumultuous period that followed the 2016 Brexit referendum.
During his time as Speaker, John increased MPs’ opportunities to question ministers and worked consistently to promote ethnic diversity and make the Commons more family-friendly. His autobiography, Unspeakable, was published in February 2020 and reached number two in The Sunday Times non-fiction best-seller list.
John was the first person in his family to have the chance to go to University, and he graduated from the University of Essex in 1985 with a First Class Honours Degree in Government. As Professor of Politics at Royal Holloway, John co-teaches the second-year module, PR2480 Democracy in Britain. He also gives additional guest lectures on other modules and organises regular talks with parliamentarians for students.