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A man with convictions, not everyone's friend

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: May 03, 2012

ANIMOSITY: John Bercow

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SOME feisty relationships have come out of Simon Burns' 25 years as MP.

Lord Hanningfield, the former Essex County Council leader, who returned to the House of Lords last week after a brief spell in jail for fiddling his expenses, is one politician who does not see eye-to-eye with the 59-year-old.

Mr Burns was chosen as the Chelmsford Tory candidate in 1987 when Paul White, later Lord Hanningfield, also wanted the job and there has been tension ever since.

"Whom the House of Lords wish to have among their company is a matter for the House of Lords," said Mr Burns this week.

Six-foot-tall Mr Burns also stunned fellow MPs when he insulted the six-inches shorter House of Commons speaker John Bercow during health questions last year.

The Speaker told Mr Burns he wasn't happy, to which Mr Burns replied, "Which one are you then?" He also called Mr Bercow a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf". He later apologised, but "only to dwarves and not Mr Bercow."

Mr Burns said: "There is no secret. He does not like me and I don't like him. It goes back to when I was in the whips office with him and he screamed and screeched at me. To be fair, he later apologised but by then the damage was done."

The MP also upset the alleged one million members of lobbying group 38 Degrees by likening them to zombies.

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  • Barry_Spider  |  May 03 2012, 1:19PM

    The problem with Burns is that he is and anways has been a political lightweight, trying to carve a career out of a safe seat and boot-licking of the Conservative high-order. In debate he's fairly useless, even when he's making a valid point, he comes across as loathesome and it devalues his argument. He has NEVER be an MP to back his constituency over party line. I had John Whittingdale as my MP for a brief period when the borders changed (then changed back) and he was a far superior MP in all ways.