Mon, 22 July 2024

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The House Live All
By Ben Guerin
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Labour's Tracy Brabin blasts back after social media sniping at her 'inappropriate' Commons outfit

2 min read

Labour frontbencher Tracy Brabin has hit back at "sexist" social media critics who branded her a "tart" for wearing an off-the-shoulder outfit at the Commons despatch box.

The Shadow Culture Secretary came under fire from some Twitter users after she raised a point of order in the Commons while wearing a black top that exposed her shoulder.

The criticism was triggered when a male user shared a screenshot of the Batley and Spen MP grilling the Government over the treatment of journalists and asked: "Is this really appropriate attire for parliament?"

The post prompted a flurry of replies including some who branded her a "slapper", one who suggested she "put some clothes on love" and another who claimed she was "on her way back from clubbing".

One man asked: "The bare shoulder is distracting, looks like the sleeve has slipped, the men couldn’t get away with revealing clothes. Where’s the equality!"

And another said: "It was inappropriate dress for HofC [House of Commons] or any workplace other than a nightclub."

But Ms Brabin hit back, telling the BBC the reaction was "another example of the everyday sexism women face". 

"They were playing top trumps on how rude they could be," she added.

"They are idiots and they are rude but I am not going to lose much sleep over them."

And the MP - who replaced murdered colleague Jo Cox 2016, shrugged off the criticism in a Twitter post of her own.

She said: "Sorry I don’t have time to reply to all of you commenting on this but I can confirm I’m not... A slag, hungover, a tart, about to breastfeed, a slapper, drunk, just been banged over a wheelie bin. Who knew people could get so emotional over a shoulder?"

MPs do not have an official dress code, although the House of Commons says they should wear clothes that "might ordinarily be worn for a fairly formal business transaction".

"The Speaker has, on a number of occasions, taken exception to informal clothing, including the non-wearing of jackets and ties by men," Parliament's website states.

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