Speaker's wife admits to 'ladette' past

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Speaker John Bercow's wife confessed today that she used to be an "argumentative, stroppy drunk" who had a series of flings and put herself in danger through making bad judgments.

Sally Bercow, 40, said she wanted to get her "skeletons" out into the open before standing as a Labour councillor in Pimlico, central London, in a bid to become an MP at the next election.

In her first interview, Mrs Bercow told the Evening Standard her drinking "got out of control" in her 20s when she was drinking a bottle of wine, "sometimes more like two bottles", a day.

"I was a big binge-drinker in my 20s," she said.

"I started drinking at Oxford, being a party girl, and it got out of control. I had no stop button."

At her worst, the mother-of-three said she was "an argumentative, stroppy drunk, picking arguments with my bosses over stupid things".

"Plus I'd lose my judgment and put myself in danger," she said.

"I'd fall asleep on the Tube and end up in Epping or Heathrow. And I'd get into unlicensed minicabs in the early hours: all the things we'd tell our daughters not to do."

Asked about one-night stands, Mrs Bercow told the newspaper they were "more like flings" and added: "I wasn't looking for love.

"But it's true that I would end up sometimes at a bar and someone would send a drink over, and I'd think 'Why not?' and we'd go home together. I liked the excitement of not knowing how a night was going to end. It was all very ladette - work hard, play hard."

Mrs Bercow, who went to Marlborough College before reading theology at Oxford, denied allegations that she lied on her CV about getting a theology degree when she left Keble College after two years without one.

She said she never lied about her academic record - saying she had just said she passed her prelims - but admitted she could have handled it differently.

But she said she wanted a job and "didn't tell any lies".

Mrs Bercow, who has three children - Oliver, Freddie and Jemima - with husband John, also said she never tried drugs because she was afraid she might like them too much.

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