UK health minister calls Speaker a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf"

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London, June 30 (ANI): British Health Minister Simon Burns described the Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, as a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf" during a debate.

According to The Telegraph, Burns delivered the muttered insult after being reprimanded by Bercow for turning to address a backbencher directly, rather than facing the House and addressing his comments through the chairman as is customary.

He was told that in future, he and other MPs must "show respect" to whoever is chairing a debate.

It is the latest clash between the Conservatives and Bercow, who has faced several challenges to his authority over the past year.

Although he is the Tory MP for Buckingham, few in his party voted for him to succeed Michael Martin as Speaker because it was felt that he had become too close to Labour.

His re-election last month was also opposed by some, with Nadine Dorries accusing him of failing to uphold "the great tradition of authority, control and impartiality".

Both Burns and Dorries reportedly refused to shake Bercow's hand during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Parliament.

Burns was representing the Department of Health during Health Questions yesterday when he was accused of turning to speak directly to a backbencher.

Bercow said the incident would go "unrecorded" by Hansard but that he would take no action.

However, he added, that front and back benches must show "respect for the Chair" as well as each other. (ANI)

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