THERE was no need for a speaker as the former Speaker of the House of Commons launched a passionate defence of Parliament at a university talk.

John Bercow MP, who left his Parliamentary post on Thursday, told students at the University of Brighton “we degrade Parliament at our peril”.

Mr Bercow spoke at the university on Wednesday and insisted the majority of British politicians had the country’s interests at heart.

“I believe that most of my Parliamentary colleagues are motivated by their notions of the national interest, by their perceptions of the public good, and by their duty as representatives to do what they believe to be right for our country,” he said.

“I say with very great force to people who deride Parliament: they shouldn’t.

“When I go around the world, even if there isn’t much admiration for our system in the UK, there is outside of the UK for the UK’s system. Parliament, as a forum in which people say what they mean and mean what they say, and do what they believe to be right, is incredibly important.”

Mr Bercow also praised university vice-chancellor Debra Humphris, pictured with him right.

“Debra deserves huge credit for coming out as the first openly gay vice-chancellor in our country,” he said.

“There must be many others and it shouldn’t have to be such a burden, but someone had to take the lead.”