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News from City, University of London

Speaker of the House of Commons awarded honorary degree

John Bercow MP awarded honorary degree for his distinguished career in politics and his contribution to speech and language services for young people.
by Ben

The Right Honourable John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, has been awarded an honorary degree by City University London for his distinguished career in politics and his contribution to speech and language services for young people.

The award was conferred upon Mr Bercow during City's graduation ceremony at London's Guildhall, yesterday.

nullSpeaking of his award, Mr Bercow said: "It is a source of great pride to be offered an honorary doctorate by an institution of such distinction."

He also passed on some advice for City's graduates: "I hope you are lucky enough to do for a living something you find rewarding in its own right, as I do. You spend at least two thirds of your life working, I hope you can make it a fulfilling experience."

Roberta Williams, an Association Dean of the School of Health Sciences at City, said: "Despite his demanding role as Speaker, John has retained his interest in supporting children with communication needs and has remained a strong ally of the Speech and Language Therapy profession."

Professor Sir Paul Curran, Vice-Chancellor of City University London, commented: "These graduation ceremonies mark the beginning of our 120th year and I am delighted to add four more honorary graduates to our already impressive roster. The individuals chosen represent City's strengths of academic excellence and outstanding achievement in business and the professions. They are fine role models for our new cohort of graduates as they embark on their careers."

Mr Bercow graduated from the University of Essex in 1985 with a First Class Honours degree in Government. His former tutor, Professor Anthony King, described him as being 'an outstanding student'.

There followed a brief spell in merchant banking after which John joined the lobbying firm Rowland Sallingbury Casey, which is part of Saatchi & Saatchi in 1988; soon becoming a board director.

In May 1997, Mr Bercow was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Buckingham Conservative, serving on the front benches in a variety of roles including; Spokesman for Education & Employment and Home Affairs; Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury; and Shadow Minister for Work & Pensions. Between 2003 and 2004 John also served as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.

In 2008, following nearly two years of consultation with speech and language experts across the country - including academics from City University London - the 'Bercow Report' was published. The Report made more than 40 recommendations for improving speech and language provision for children and was the first high level policy document to signal the needs of children with communication disorders.

On 22nd June 2009 Mr Bercow became the 157th Speaker of the House of Commons; a position he holds to this day.

Honorary degrees are awarded to people who have achieved international academic distinction or held major leadership roles nationally or globally in the areas of business and the professions that City University London serves and who are considered to be excellent role models for our students.

City also conferred awards upon: The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE; Jim O'Neill, former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Professor Jörg Steinbach.

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