LABOUR MPs have called for “silly, sexist, patronising” Brexit Secretary David Davies to be sacked, after he was forced to apologise for criticising the physical appearance of Labour’s Diane Abbott.

Last week the Tory minister was reported to have tried to hug and embrace Abbott after she voted for triggering Article 50. The Shadow Home Secretary reportedly told him to “f*** off”.

When one of Davis’s colleagues asked him by text why he tried to kiss Abbott, Davis replied saying: “I’m not blind.”

In the texts, leaked to the Mail on Sunday, a fellow Tory writes to Davis, saying: “Cannot believe you made an attempt to give DA [Diane Abbott] a hug!”

The Cabinet minister replied: “Didn’t, but the myth grows. I whispered in her ear ‘Thanks for your vote’ hence the ‘F off’. I am not blind.”

The colleague then wrote: “Ha! Ha! Thank God you aren’t blind. Great week for you and Brexit!”

Then Davis texted back: “Actually it would make a good Optical Express advert ... Yes, a reasonable success.”

A spokesman for the Brexit Secretary insisted Davis respected Abbott: “This was a self-evidently jocular and private exchange with a friend.

“The Secretary of State is very sorry for any offence caused to Miss Abbott, someone he has known and respected for many years.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “You’d have hoped this sort of misogynistic, sexist attitude had gone out in the 1950s.”

Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti said: “I think David Davis has been very silly. He was sexist and he was patronising.

“And let’s just say, Diane is not someone who would have her hand patted by Donald Trump or David Davis or anybody else.

“I think the contrast around the iconography of [Theresa] May in the White House and Diane Abbott and David Davis is quite significant.”

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow is under pressure to go after the appearance of a video of him telling a group of students that he voted to remain in the EU referendum last June.

Leader of the Commons, David Lidington, says the Speaker should expect a “strong” reaction.

In the video, taken at a meeting on February 3 with students from Reading University, the speaker can be heard saying: “Personally, I voted to remain.

“I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not.”

He also accuses the Leave side of telling “untruths” and making promises “that could not be kept”.

It is the second time in as many weeks Bercow has infuriated pro-Brexit MPs. He effectively used his position to ban US President Donald Trump from addressing both Houses of Commons, saying that the new commander-in-chief was “racist and sexist”, effectively banning him from addressing parliament during his state visit. Some Conservative MPs believe his position as Speaker is no longer tenable.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Lidington said: “John has his strong supporters as well as his strong critics in the Commons, but we shall have to see how members respond. There will be a strong reaction.”