Commons Speaker Bercow brands his critics 'snobs and bigots'

COMMONS Speaker John Bercow has lashed out at his critics calling them "snobs and bigots" and saying most Tories had wanted someone taller and more right-wing in the post of Speaker.

Mr Bercow hit back at those who have sniped about him since he was elected Speaker just over a year ago.

He described criticism of his wife, Labour-supporting Sally Bercow, as "cowardly".

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"There are two categories who attack Sally or me - snobs and bigots," he said. "The snobs are those who regard themselves as socially superior because of their background, the person they have married, or the money they've got.

"The worst snobs are of no distinction at all.

"The bigots are people who cannot bear the idea of a Speaker with an opinionated wife. If she wants to be a Labour MP, she has every right."

Despite being a Tory MP before taking the Speaker's chair, Mr Bercow has faced particularly strong criticism among many of his former colleagues.

He faced a bid to oust him - led by Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries - after the general election, but survived with the support of most MPs.