15/03/2012 12:50 GMT | Updated 15/03/2012 12:52 GMT

John Bercow 'Should Rent Out Taxpayer-Funded Mansion During The Olympics'

John Bercow should rent his taxpayer-funded flat in the Houses of Parliament to tourists during the Olympic Games, a Tory MP has said.

Conservative backbencher Jake Berry questioned how it could be fair to charge people for tours of Big Ben when there were still people who worked in the Commons living in "grace and favour mansions".

"We're not talking about a Big Brother-style eviction here, we are simply talking about those who have their grace-and-favour apartments - including the Speaker of the House - giving them up for the period of the Olympics," he said.

"The Speaker's house would command the biggest premium. I would suggest we could charge £20,000 a night, maybe more."

He said it was a "scandal" that people still lived in taxpayer-funded homes within the parliamentary estate and the Olympics was a perfect opportunity to make amends.

Bercow lives in his parliamentary home with wife Sally, who starred in Celebrity Big Brother, and their children.

Berry's words were echoed by Charlie Elphicke, who asked how parliament could justify spending money on and grace and favour apartments which were "outdated in the modern age".

The support of the Labour front bench after Labour's shadow leader of the Commons, Angela Eagle, said parliament needed to modernise.

"I would be happy to see the Commission look at all of the grace and favour apartments and see what they cost. I assume that the information is available, and it should be ventilated," she said.

"The way that things have been done in the past is not necessarily the way that they have to be done in the future, especially if they can be done more cheaply."

Bercow was not in the chair during the debate, but Berry may find it hard to get picked to speak from now on.