John Bercow has denied discussing the prospect of a peerage with Sir Keir Starmer after defecting to the Labour Party.

Former Commons Speaker and Tory MP Mr Bercow said on Sunday there has been "no barter, no trade, no deal whatsoever" after launching an attack on the Conservatives under Boris Johnson.

During his 10 years in the Speaker’s chair, Mr Bercow made numerous enemies among Tory Brexit-supporting MPs due to a series of decisions perceived as favouring the Remain camp.

The Tories also enraged Mr Bercow by breaking with the long-standing convention to elevate a retiring Speaker to the House of Lords amid allegations that he bullied parliamentary staff – allegations he has always denied.

Critics linked his defection to an alleged plot to win a fresh nomination for a peerage from Labour leader Sir Keir.

But Mr Bercow told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: "I’ve had absolutely no discussion whatsoever, either with Keir Starmer or any other member of the Labour leadership about that matter. There has been no barter, no trade, no deal whatsoever.

"And if I may very politely say so, and I do, the people who make what they think is that potent and coruscating criticism of me are operating according to their own rather low standards."

John Bercow said a peerage 'isn't in my mind. It's not part of the gameplan'

Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

The Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen is among those alleged that Mr Bercow was operating a "cynical" and "cunning" plan to be nominated as a Labour peer.

Asked what he would do if Sir Keir rang and offered him a peerage, Mr Bercow said: "It isn’t in my mind. It’s not part of the gameplan, I haven’t discussed it, I’m not waiting for it. What I’m motivated by is a commitment to equality, social justice and internationalism."

Last year, Mr Bercow claimed there was a "conspiracy" to stop him getting a peerage. Labour under Jeremy Corbyn nominated him for elevation after the Tories declined to do so, but he has yet to reach the House of Lords.

Mr Bercow served as a Tory MP for 12 years until he was elected Speaker in 2009. He left the Speaker’s chair and the Commons in 2019.

In announcing that he had joined Labour, he said he regarded the Conservatives under Mr Johnson’s leadership as "reactionary, populist, nationalistic and sometimes even xenophobic".

"The conclusion I have reached is that this Government needs to be replaced. The reality is that the Labour Party is the only vehicle that can achieve that objective. There is no other credible option," he told the Observer.

Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary, said Mr Bercow had diminished his influence by coming out in support of Labour and said he "totally" disagreed with his characterisation of the Tories.

Mr Buckland told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: "I think as a former Speaker he’s somebody that, even though he’s left office, does carry a degree of authority like his predecessors, and I think his predecessors’ authority was enhanced by their refusal to go back into party politics.

"But I think him joining a political party actually has the effect of diminishing the force of his voice in politics, however strong he wants it to be."

Mr Bercow insisted his switch to Labour was "not personal against" Mr Johnson and was "something that changed in me", adding: "I identify with Labour values, Labour principles, Labour policies."

The Labour leader’s office has not commented on Mr Bercow joining the party.