04/10/2013 14:38 BST | Updated 04/10/2013 14:43 BST

Simon Burns Called John Bercow A 'Dwarf', Now Wants To Be His Deputy

The minister that once called John Bercow a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf" has announced he is quitting government - in order to run to be deputy Commons Speaker.

If he successfully wins the position in a Commons vote next week, Simon Burns will be working alongside Bercow in chairing parliamentary debates.

Burns, who until he announced his resignation from government was a minister in the Department for Transport (DfT), had to apologise "unreservedly" in 2010 for the verbal critique of Bercow.

In a letter to David Cameron published today, he wrote: "Following our recent conversation, I would like to confirm that I wish to resign from the government so that I can stand in the forthcoming election for the vacancy to the post of Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

"It has been a privilege to serve in your administration for the past three-and-a-half years and I will be forever grateful to you for giving me that opportunity in both the Departments of Health and Transport.

"You can rest assured that I will continue to support your leadership of both the Conservative Party and the Government."

Cameron told Burns he understood the decision would not have been easy and "one you will have given a huge amount of thought to".

The PM continued: "After serving the Government so ably for over three years, you will certainly be missed, but I completely understand and respect your decision.

"You have been such a loyal, dedicated and committed colleague over the past three years of Government... and before that in Opposition where you served as the senior Opposition whip.

"You have brought so much to our team drawing on your considerable parliamentary and political experience. It has been a pleasure to work with you throughout."

Burns confirmed his interest as replacing Nigel Evans, who resigned as one of Bercow's deputies after he was charged on September 10.

Evans, the MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire, has appeared in the dock at Preston Crown Court for a preliminary hearing where his trial date was fixed.

The 55-year-old is accused of two counts of indecent assault, five of sexual assault and one of rape. The charges date from 2002 to earlier this year.