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Speaker's wife laments media focus
7:45am Tuesday 4th February 2014 in © Press Association 2014
The wife of Commons speaker John Bercow said she "can't wait" for him to quit the role so her private life will no longer be under the spotlight.
Sally Bercow expressed her frustration after a photograph showing her apparently kissing another man was published by a tabloid newspaper.
She insisted that the man was just a friend, that she had done "nothing to be ashamed of" and that the couple's marriage "works for us".
In the photograph featured on the front page of the Sun, Mrs Bercow is wearing a brunette wig and has her arms wrapped around the man.
It was taken outside a central London nightclub on Saturday but the newspaper said there was no suggestion the pair left together.
Mrs Bercow is no stranger to publicity, appearing as a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother and a spin-off television show, posing in a bedsheet for a newspaper and regularly courting controversy with comments on social media.
Her husband has indicated that he does not wish to serve more than nine years as Speaker - a role to which he was first elected in 2009.
She told London's Evening Standard newspaper: "The guy in the picture is a friend. End of.
"I can't wait until John finishes being Speaker, maybe then the media will leave me alone."
She denied their marriage was in any trouble.
"Of course I'm still together [with John], I don't need to apologise to John, I've done nothing wrong," she said.
"My marriage is my business. I couldn't give a damn what people think. Let people judge me if they want.
"It was when I went out on Saturday. I'm still very much with John, I'm sitting here in the flat with John and I did nothing wrong.
"I went out for a friend's birthday party.
"I love my husband, he is the most important man in my life. Yes, I go out and have fun, but I have done nothing to be ashamed of."
She went on: "No marriage is perfect but ours works for us.
"We've known each other for 25 years and been married for 11. I wish the media would stop judging - all marriages are different."
When the picture was first published, Mrs Bercow took to Twitter to dismiss it as "totally misleading".
She was made to pay £15,000 to Lord McAlpine last year over her infamous "innocent face" tweet.
She posted the defamatory tweet two days after a Newsnight report last November wrongly implicated the Tory peer in allegations of sex abuse.
Mrs Bercow settled the libel action brought by Lord McAlpine after the High Court found a tweet posted by her was highly defamatory.
Defending her appearance on reality TV, she said she wanted to " stick two fingers up to the e stablishment who think it's the kind of thing I shouldn't do.''
She admitted it caused ructions with her husband, but insisted she was ''very proud'' about her appearance on the show despite his misgivings.
She has in the past been strongly defended by her husband, who has said t hat he regards her as ''my asset'' and ''above all she's my wife whom I love''.