John Bercow has insisted he is not a sex symbol.

The Commons speaker rejected wife Sally's contention that the role had made him more attractive.

He told The Times Magazine: "I have most certainly not become a sex symbol. She [his wife] does have a very good sense of humour."

In 2011 Mrs Bercow sent ripples around Westminster when she appeared in a newspaper wearing nothing but a bedsheet.

She also spoke at the time of the ''aphrodisiac'' effect of their life at the Palace of Westminster.

Mr Bercow said the couple are not fazed by scrutiny of their marriage, which has made headlines on a number of occasions.

"Sally and I have our own approach to marriage and we are perfectly comfortable in our own skin," he said.

"And, in the politest possible way, I think I would say: if other people disapprove of it or think it should be otherwise, that's their problem, not ours."

Mr Bercow, 51, who is 5ft 6in tall (1.7m), said he was "never bothered about being short".

"Whereas nobody these days would regard it as acceptable to criticise someone on grounds of race or creed or disability or sexual orientation, somehow it seems to be acceptable to comment on someone's height, or lack of it.

"Does it affect me, personally? Not at all. It's just low grade, intellectually substandard and schoolboyish."

In February Mrs Bercow, 44, said she "can't wait" for her husband to quit his role as speaker so her private life will no longer be under the spotlight.