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No tie, no intervention as MP gives new sartorial code a dressing down

Transport minister John Hayes joked that he will not accept interventions from male MPs unless they are wearing a tie.

A transport minister has joked that he will not accept interventions from male MPs not wearing ties as he poked fun at the chamber’s new relaxed dress code.

John Hayes went on to produce a tie from his speaking notes beside the despatch box and offered it to any MPs who were “sartorially challenged or inadequate”.

Last week, Commons Speaker John Bercow announced he would allow male MPs to speak in the chamber without wearing a tie providing they were wearing “business-like attire”, in a break from the traditional dress code in the Commons.

Mr Hayes, who often makes speeches littered with light-hearted and philosophical references, made his comments to MPs as he introduced the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing Bill for its second reading, the first legislation to be debated in the new Parliament.

He said: “There has been some debate over recent days in this chamber about sartorial standards.

“I ought to say as a matter of courtesy I won’t be taking interventions from anyone who’s not wearing a tie, on whatever side of the House that they sit.

“As well as courtesy, I believe in generosity, and anyone that is sartorially challenged or inadequate I will provide a tie for. I do have a tie here which I’m prepared to offer.”

As MPs laughed, former shadow minister Lilian Greenwood stood up as if to make an intervention on Mr Hayes’ speech.

Spotting the Labour MP, Mr Hayes added: “Of course I exclude from that lady members of the House, who I would hardly expect to dress in either my tie, one of their own or anyone else’s.”

During his maiden speech, Eddie Hughes (Walsall North) supported Mr Hayes’ stance on ties.

He told the Commons: “For those who weren’t here when the minister was introducing this legislation, I firmly endorse his sartorial standpoint to not take interventions from male members who are not wearing ties.

“I bought this suit at the weekend specifically for making my first speech in this chamber, and although obviously I will be wearing exactly the same suit for the rest of the week, at least for today I will be looking my best.”

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