WORLD ‘No jeans, sleeveless tops’: New dress code for MPs ahead of UK House of Commons

The Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has updated the “Rules of behaviour and courtesies in the House of Commons” and has asked MPs that their dress, language and conduct should “reflect” the “privilege” of their position.

Before the British members of Parliament return to the House of Commons on Monday, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, has directed them to dress appropriately in “business attire.”

Hoyle has updated the “Rules of behaviour and courtesies in the House of Commons” and has asked MPs to “demonstrate respect for your constituents.” This update addresses the casual and more relaxed clothing style that had set in during the coronavirus-induced lockdown after rules were eased to allow the MPs attend sessions virtually.

“Members are expected to wear business attire in and around the Chamber,” the news rules stated.

The rules prohibit wearing “jeans, chinos, sportswear or any other casual trousers.” “T-shirts and sleeveless tops are not business attire. Smart/business shoes are expected to be worn. Casual shoes and trainers are not appropriate,” it said, adding that men are “encouraged to wear a tie” and jackets “must be worn.”

The updated norms further stated that it is “privilege” to serve as an MP and the “dress, language and conduct should reflect this.”

Apart from tightening the dress code, Hoyle has also clamped down on rowdiness in the House of Commons. According to the new rules, MPs cannot sing and chant – which are both banned in the chamber. The parliamentarians cannot clap as well as the rules state that it “eats into the time available for debate.”

Furthermore, the MPs have also been told to pay attention during a debate and not read books or newspapers or “obviously devote…to…phone or other electronic device.”

In December last year, former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt was called out during a virtual Brexit discussion of the House of Commons by Hoyle for not adhering to the dress code. Hunt was reportedly not wearing a tie and his top shirt button was also undone.

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