John Bercow hits back at critics calling those ridiculing his Labour-voting wife Sally of writing sub-standard 'drivel'

 

John Bercow risked infuriating loyal Conservative MPs by suggesting that criticism of the way he handles House of Commons business comes from MPs who are “embittered” and “resentful” because their own political careers have not worked out as they had hoped.

In an outspoken interview, the Speaker also lashed out at journalists who have attacked or ridiculed his Labour-voting wife, Sally, accusing them of writing “sub standard, low music hall drivel.”

Mr Bercow’s three years as Speaker has made him lasting enemies among government supporters angered by the way he has striven to make ministers accountable to Parliament, for instance by compelling David Cameron to come to the Commons in April to answer questions about his Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the Murdoch media empire. Right wing newspapers have also highlighted his wife’s foibles, such as posing for a photographer wrapped only in a sheet.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme, Mr Bercow admitted that some of those who do not like him complain that he is “puffed up with his own importance” and that old allies on the Tory ‘hard right’ are disappointed that he no longer hold the views he had in Margaret thatcher’s time.

But he added: “Sometimes people who haven't perhaps achieved what they wanted to achieve in their political career can display some sign of resentment,” he said

“They have either vocalised their opinion in public or have constantly briefed against me behind the scenes. I have of course an idea about who some of these people are.

“It is a sadness for them that they are so embittered and resentful, that they are constantly seeking to undermine and brief against me and so on.”

He also claimed that he was “not angry but exasperated” by media sniping at his wife, Sally, whom he regards as an “asset.”

“These people are no-hopers, these totally low-grade sub standard down market low music hall drivel and the sort of people who are responsible for it probably wouldn't dare to debate the issue in any very public way,” he said.

Though first elected to Parliament as a Thatcherite Tory in 1997, Mr Bercow has since been on a political odyssey which has made the targets of complaints that he is anti-government and of rumours of Tory plots to sack him.

He angered Tories by allowing the Labour MP Chris Bryant to call Jeremy Hunt a “liar” without being ruled out of order, and had a public row with the government chief whip, Patrick McLouglin, who appeared to be on the point of storming out of the Chamber in protest at a ruling that appeared to favour Labour. In another famous incident, the Health Minister, Simon Burns, called the Speaker a “stupid, sanctimonious dwarf.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Support Worker

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A rewarding opportunity to work with an easy-...

Recruitment Genius: National Sales Account Executive

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum