Saturday 21 September 2019

Titfer tat in the Commons with mixed reaction to Peter Bone's charity headgear

Peter Bone's hat was the talk of the Commons
Peter Bone's hat was the talk of the Commons

A strict uniform of shirts, jackets and ties is usually religiously enforced in the Commons Chamber.

But one MP broke with these usual conservative sartorial standards and donned a brightly-coloured woollen hat to praise his local charity - Crazy Hats.

Peter Bone's stunt sparked giggles among his fellow MPs, while Cabinet minister David Lidington compared his odd appearance to a Christmas elf.

Speaking during business questions Mr Bone said: "Tomorrow is local charities day, and we all have very good charities in our local constituencies, and one of mine is Crazy Hats.

"It's run by Glennis Hooper and a group of dedicated volunteers. They've raised over £2 million by people wearing crazy hats."

He then stooped down to pull out the striped Peruvian-style hat and perched it on the tip of his head as he proceeded with his speech.

"They spend that money on breast cancer in Northamptonshire", he said.

"Would the minister be able to say how those charities can be further supported?"

John Bercow, the Speaker who is in charge of keeping order in the Commons, said: "I've indulged the honourable gentleman for the duration of his question, but I'm glad he has now taken that hat off, I sincerely hope he won't put it on again, preferably at any time but certainly not in the Chamber."

Mr Lidington also poked fun at Mr Bone's odd appearance.

He said: "I thought for one moment that my honourable friend was auditioning for a role in some remake of the film Elf."

Responding to calls for a debate on charities, the Commons leader said: "I think that the Chancellor has demonstrated through improvements in the gift aid scheme that the Government is keen to provide greater opportunities to small local charities to benefits form donations."

He added: "I think we will all want to celebrate tomorrow the work that so many thousands of local charities do in every constituency in this country."

PA Media

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