‘Hadn’t read the rule book!’ BBC Breakfast’s Nina stuns Charlie with Commons rule break

Nina Warhurst reveals House of Commons clothing blunder

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BBC BREAKFAST saw presenters Charlie Stayt and Nina Warhurst reading through the morning’s newspaper headlines on Saturday morning. After discussing how a new dress code has been put in place in the House of Commons, Nina confessed to Charlie she once had been thrown out for the lobby due to what she was wearing.

Introducing the topic while rustling through the day’s papers, Charlie began: “The story I chose was about whether during Covid we’ve got more casual, the idea is while we’ve been zooming and not in the office we’ve dressed casually at home.

“The way this is playing out at the House of Commons is that John Bercow, in 2018, got more relaxed about the dress code and said there was no exact dress code.

“But now Lindsey Hoyle, who is the Commons speaker who arbitrates on all these sorts of things, has apparently come down quite hard on the whole business,” he explained.

Charlie continued: “(And) is saying that people have got more relaxed, but he is expecting now that business attire will always be worn in and around the chamber.

“He’s clamping down on is singing, clapping, scrolling through Twitter, all of those things are to be clamped down on.

“(This) happens periodically sometimes people clap, and it’s always been sort of outlawed, but It’s been more relaxed.”

Nina added: “I remember Lindsey Hoyle admonished one of the MP’s for not wearing a tie when they were doing Zoom meetings last year.”

Remembering what Nina was referring to, Charlie continued: “That’s right, so Bercow apparently barred jeans, t-shirt, sandals and trainers.

“But Hoyle, who is now in charge, has expanded the list to include jeans, chinos sportswear, any other casual trousers.”

“Chino ban!” Nina exclaimed, sounding surprised as Charlie added: “No, no to the chinos.”

“Apparently, some MP’s have taken to wearing chinos and a jacket that has been outlawed, and it goes further.

“Because t-shirts and sleeveless tops, for example, are categorised as definitely not business attire, so I don’t know how it’s playing out, maybe it’s playing out in your workplace in a similar way,” Charlie explained.

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Nina went on to explain to Charlie about a situation she got herself into when she hadn’t read the rule book before entering the House of Commons.

She began: “I remember getting a tap on the shoulder when I used to work at the House of Commons as a journalist.

“I got told to leave the lobby area because I was wearing jeans and I hadn’t read the rule book, that you’re not supposed to wear jeans, even as a journalist.”

“Was it jeans and trainers?” Charlie asked to which Nina replied: “I wasn’t wearing trainers, I was wearing smart jeans with boots, but that’s not allowed.”

Charlie then joked: “Well, it’s probably been played out, it hasn’t really changed much here, let’s be honest.”

“I wouldn’t say we’ve gone casual just yet,” Nina laughed, adding: “And neither has Sarah,” referring to weather correspondent Sarah Keith-Lucas.

“Let’s check in with the weather,” Nina said before Charlie added: “Well, I haven’t seen yet, let’s check, that’s acceptable it’s okay!”

Sarah joked back: “I will tell you what Charlie and Nina, you don’t know what I have on my feet, so it could be anything.”

BBC Breakfast airs every day at 6am on BBC One.  
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