House Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle updated the ‘Rules of Conduct and Courtesy in the House of Commons’, advising MPs that items such as jeans and chinos are not allowed.
The advice represents a hardening of the advice from that of previous speaker John Bercow, whose latest set of such rules stated that there was “no exact dress code” and that the typical dress code did not exist. was just a suggestion.
But Sir Lindsay’s new guidelines, which could be a possible attempt to nip any post-Covid fashion slack in the bud, says MPs need to remember how they dress’ should show respect for your voters, for the Chamber and for the institution of Parliament in the life of the nation ”.
“Members are required to wear business attire in and around the House,” he says.
“Jeans, chinos, sportswear or any other casual pants are not appropriate. T-shirts and sleeveless tops are not business attire.
“City / business shoes must be worn. Casual shoes and sneakers are not appropriate. Men are encouraged to wear a tie and jackets should be worn.
“It is a privilege to serve as a Member of Parliament and your dress, language and conduct should reflect that. “
The crackdown comes after a number of times parliamentary fashion grabbed the headlines, during and before the pandemic.
And, MP Tracy Brabin found herself at the center of a storm for wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress in the bedroom in February 2020, an item of clothing she then auctioned off for charity, raising 20,000. £ in the process.
Sir Lindsay has also decided to crack down on heckling in the Commons.
Singing is to be banned, potentially avoiding a repeat of scenes from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament in September 2019, when Labor MPs protested by singing songs including Red Flag and Scots Wha Hae.
The new rules state that “singing and chanting are not allowed in the room” and that “applause is also not allowed as it consumes the time available for debate”.
MPs were also urged to be careful: “When listening to a debate, you should not read books or newspapers, or obviously devote yourself to your phone or other electronic device. “