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Minister sorry for 'dwarf' slur

8 years ago143 views



A Government minister has apologised for calling Commons Speaker John Bercow a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf".

Health Minister Simon Burns said in a statement: "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 Mr Bercow rebuked him for failing to face the despatch box when he answered backbenchers' questions.

Mr Bercow, who is believed to be 5ft 6in, later poked fun at his own height during a point of order in the Commons.

Labour former minister Chris Bryant (Rhondda) said: "I am glad you are getting short with ministers these days." The Speaker replied: "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."

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