Mark Francois teases John Bercow about his height as he wishes him happy retirement

PUBLISHED: 14:14 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:31 29 October 2019

Brexiteer Mark Francois in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Brexiteer Mark Francois in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

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Staunch Brexiteer Tory MP Mark Francois bid farewell to the speaker in his own characteristic way by making a jibe about his height.

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Speaker John Bercow intends to stand down on Thursday after more than 10 years of chairing proceedings.

Francois is the deputy chairman of the European Research Group, a Tory pro-Brexit group of MPs, which has often disagreed with Bercow's rulings around Brexit in the Commons.

Tory backbencher Mark Francois made the good-natured remarks during health questions.

Calling Francois to speak, Bercow said: "We stood against each other in Conservative student politics in 1986.

"I was the candidate of the right and he the candidate of the left. But some things change over the years."

MORE: Calls for John Bercow to stay on as speaker if election called

In response the Brexiteer said: "Mr Speaker, you won. And I can I say although we have not always agreed on everything, in the 18 years that I have been in this House, can I say most earnestly, from one midget to another, I wish you a long and happy retirement."

Francois has a history of making self-deprecating jibes about his and the speaker's height.

In May when Bercow chose to stay on as speaker beyond the summer, after he originally said he would stand down, Francois said: "As one vertically challenged MP to another, my sole advice to speaker Bercow is, if you are going to stay on in these momentous times that's fair enough, but it is important that all the players on the pitch retain confidence in the objectivity of the referee until the end of the match."

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