06/12/2011 18:01 GMT

Sally Bercow Defends Gypsies: 'They're Not Flash Gits'

Describing herself as the "gobby bird married to the Speaker," Sally Bercow used the HuffPost UK soapbox event in the Stratford Westfield to dispel sterotypes about Gypsies.

Megaphone in hand, the outspoken wife of John Bercow said she wanted to "puncture myths" that surround the travelling community.

She said hostility was their "day to day reality" as a result of "the endless stream of prejudice and paranoia, often unquestioned by the public," that came from the media.

Bercow spent two weeks living with fellow Celebrity Big Brother contestant Paddy Doherty for a new Channel 5 show When Paddy Met Sally.

Doherty was the star of Channel 4's series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding which Bercow said unfortunately perpetuated many of the negative views about travellers.

"I found down to earth values, sincerity instead of tackiness, genuine warmth where I was led to expect hostility," she said of her time filming her latest TV outing.

"Everyone seems to think Gypsies are flash gits," she said. "But poverty is rife in the traveller community."

While Bercow put up a defence of the traveller community she said there were some problems.

"Of course there are bad apples in every community, I don't really need to remind you of the MPs' expenses scandal do I," she said.

She added: "Surely diversity is one of the things that makes Britain great. Instead of denouncing other cultures lets be big enough to live and let live."