Minister sorry for dwarf insult

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Indy Politics

A minister has apologised after calling the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf" – although not to Mr Bercow.

Simon Burns, a Health minister, said: "If I have caused any offence to any group of people then I unreservedly apologise because that was not my intention."

His insult had been branded "derogatory and deeply offensive" by the Walking with Giants Foundation, a charity that supports people who suffer from primordial dwarfism.

Mr Burns made the remarks, along with hand gestures, while seated on the front bench on Tuesday after the Speaker, who has been in the job for a year, rebuked him for failing to face the despatch box when he answered backbenchers' questions.

Mr Bercow, who is 5ft 6in, said: "I have always been short – and I am entirely untroubled by the fact, which is probably as well."