Essex University chancellor John Bercow has described Brexit as “the biggest foreign policy mistake in the post-war period”.

The former Commons Speaker made the comments at a gathering of the Foreign Press Association.

Mr Bercow, who stood down as Speaker after ten years in the role, told journalists while he was impartial in chairing proceedings in the chamber he could now express an opinion.

In a recording of the event by the Turkish Anadolu Agency, Mr Bercow said: “I’m no longer the Speaker, I don’t have to remain impartial now and if you asked me honestly do I think that Brexit is good for our global standing? The honest answer is no, I don’t.

“I think that Brexit is the biggest foreign policy mistake in the post-war period.”

Mr Bercow has angered many pro-Brexit MPs for what they claimed were moves by him to thwart Brexit.

But he said: “Let me say for the umpteenth time, for the avoidance of doubt that I believe I was always fair in the chair.

“Fair to the Brexiteers, to whom I granted urgent questions and emergency debates before the word ‘Brexiteer’ had even been invented.

“I always treated the Brexiteers in a fair way and I’ve always treated the Remainers in a fair way.”