The ties they are a-changing: Dress code eased in UK Commons

AP News
Posted: Jun 29, 2017 9:25 AM

LONDON (AP) — An off-the-cuff rule change has Britain's convention-bound Parliament in a twist.

The speaker of the House of Commons says male lawmakers no longer are required to wear ties in the Commons chamber.

Asked about the issue Thursday after a Liberal Democrat legislator spoke while wearing an open-necked shirt, Speaker John Bercow said members of Parliament were expected to "dress in businesslike attire."

But, Bercow added: "Do I think it's essential that a member wears a tie? No."

The announcement caused a minor sensation in the tradition-abiding world of Parliament. Some praised Bercow for common sense, while other lamented a decline in sartorial standards.

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Bercow added that female lawmakers are free to wear ties, or not, as they choose.

In the past, male lawmakers have occasionally been reprimanded for going tie-less.