Don't call my husband scruffy, says Mrs Bercow

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Indy Politics

The wife of the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, hit back yesterday after one of his predecessors gave him a dressing-down by for his scruffy appearance.

Sally Bercow dismissed Baroness Boothroyd's comments as "nonsense". Lady Boothroyd, who was Speaker from 1992 to 2000, had bemoaned Mr Bercow's decision to swap the traditional dress for a lounge suit and gown. She said she had appealed to him to wear at least a white shirt, "weepers" – broad white cuffs – and a more traditional gown. "The symbols of the office are very important," she told the BBC.

But Mrs Bercow retorted that her husband's clothes reflected his belief that the Commons needed to modernise. "He is not scruffy," she said. "It is nonsense for Betty Boothroyd ... to say he is scruffy. He just wears a regular suit and a tie and a gown."