Speaker makes light of small stature

COMMONS Speaker John Bercow poked fun at his own height "shortcomings"after a minister apparently called him a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf".

To roars of laughter he told MPs yesterday he had "always been short" but was "entirely untroubled" by the fact.

He was speaking just a day after Health Minister Simon Burns made the alleged remarks, which were branded "derogatory and deeply offensive" by a charity that supports people with primordial dwarfism.

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Yesterday in the Commons during a point of order, Labour former minister Chris Bryant (Rhondda) cheekily said: "I am glad you are getting short with ministers these days."

Mr Bercow, who is believed to be 5ft 6in, replied: "You suggest that I have been short with ministers.

"I am not sure about that but what I would say to you and the House is I have always been short - and I am entirely untroubled by the fact, which is probably as well."

Asked outside the chamber to confirm that he called Mr Bercow a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf," Mr Burns said he did not deny it."

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