Putting their best foot forward? MPs reveal their preferred choice of footwear in new charity poll

Posted On: 
7th June 2019

Conservative MPs are four times more likely to judge a person by the shoes that they wear than Labour MPs, according to a poll by national learning disabilities charity Hft.

Becky and Henry, who are members of the Hft's speak-out group at 10 Downing Street.
Credit: 
Hft

The poll, conducted by YouGov, found that 42% of Conservative MPs said they would judge a person by the shoes that they wear, compared to just 9% of Labour MPs. Overall, around a quarter of all MPs (23%) from across Parliament admitted that they would judge a person by the shoes that they wore*.

Hft questioned politicians to mark the one-year anniversary of their Walk In Our Shoes campaign, which calls on MPs to spend more time with adults with learning disabilities to find out more about the issues that matter to them.

On 7 June 2018, members of the charity’s Voices to Be Heard group delivered a pair of custom-made shoes to 10 Downing Street for Prime Minister Theresa May, decorated with faces of people supported by Hft. Since then, the charity has hosted several MPs at their services across the country. 

The Walk In Our Shoes poll also found that:

  • MPs that support Brexit are slightly more likely to judge a person by the shoes that they wear, with 37% of MPs who voted “Leave” in the EU referendum saying they would judge a person by their shoes, compared to 35% of “Remain” supporters 
  • Boots are the most popular shoe for Conservative women (59%), whereas female Labour MPs are more likely to opt for flats (42%)
  • Male Labour MPs prefer to wear Oxford shoes (25%), whereas their Conservative counterparts are more likely to wear brogues (26%)

Billy Davis, Public Affairs and Policy Manager at Hft, commented: “Around a quarter of MPs say they will use a person’s shoes to make a judgement about them before they get to know them. People with learning disabilities often feel that decisions are made about them without consulting them. This is why Hft launched the Walk In Our Shoes campaign, to give the people we support a platform to have their voices heard.”

“Whether their favourite shoes are kitten heels or flip-flops, we call on MPs of all political parties to try a new pair on for size and walk in the shoes of people with learning disabilities to find out more about the issues that matter to them.”