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Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:40 pm on 29th June 2017.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission 12:40 pm, 29th June 2017

The short answer to the hon. Gentleman is that this is something provided for, if memory serves, in the conventions and courtesies of the House. The traditional approach was that a Member—effectively, as was implied by Anna Soubry, a male Member—would be wearing a tie—[Interruption.] There is absolutely no obligation on female Members not to wear ties if they so choose. I think the general expectation is that Members should dress in business-like attire. So far as the Chair is concerned, I must say to the hon. Gentleman, although I fear this will gravely disquiet him, that it seems to me that as long as a Member arrives in the House in what might be thought to be business-like attire, the question of whether that Member is wearing a tie is not absolutely front and centre stage. So am I minded not to call a Member simply because that Member is not wearing a tie? No. I think there has always been some discretion for the Chair to decide what is seemly and proper. Members should not behave in a way that is disrespectful of their colleagues or of the institution, but do I think it is essential that a Member wears a tie? No. Opinions on the hon. Gentleman’s choice of ties do tend to vary, and it has to be said that the same could be said of my own.