Bercow laughs off height remark

Speaker John Bercow laughs off the height jibe in the Commons

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Commons Speaker John Bercow has laughed off alleged remarks about his height, saying he is "entirely untroubled".

The comments come after Health Minister Simon Burns reportedly called Mr Bercow a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf" during a debate on Tuesday.

The Speaker told MPs on Wednesday it had been suggested he had been "short with ministers", joking: "I've always been short."

Mr Bercow, who has been in the job for a year, is 5ft 6in tall.

The minister's remarks were allegedly uttered - though, not printed in Hansard, Parliament's written record - after he was told to face forward when speaking, rather than looking back towards fellow coalition MPs.

'Low-grade abuse'

Speaking later, Mr Burns did not deny the comments, saying: "We will leave it at that. I'm saying I have nothing to say."

In her Twitter page, Mr Bercow's Labour-supporting wife Sally wrote: "So much for the 'new politics'."

She also accused the minister of "low-grade abuse".

During points of order following prime minister's questions on Wednesday, Mr Bercow said, to laughter: "The honourable gentleman suggests I've been short with ministers. I'm not sure about that, but what I would say to the honourable gentlemen in the House is that I've always been short.

"And I'm entirely untroubled by the fact. It is probably as well."

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