Sunday 22 September 2019

Twitter defends journalist ‘thrown out’ of Australian Parliament for bare arms

Patricia Karvelas was told to leave Australia’s parliament for allegedly breaching the dress code with bare arms.

(thomasandreas/Getty Images)
(thomasandreas/Getty Images)

By Emily Chudy, Press Association

Australian journalist Patricia Karvelas has received an apology from the government after she was asked to leave Parliament for allegedly breaching the dress code.

The presenter for ABC News said she was “kicked out” of a parliamentary session for showing “too much skin” on Monday.

Karvelas explained what had happened on Twitter, revealing that the outfit she was wearing at the time adhered to the dress code, and included a smart blouse with short sleeves.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said in Parliament: “I would like to apologise on behalf of this side of the House to Ms Karvelas for being ejected yesterday from the press gallery.”

Speaker Tony Smith explained that he had ordered a review of the parliamentary dress code following the incident.

He said: “The journalist in question was attired in a way which would be reasonably considered professional business attire… She should, in hindsight, not have been asked to leave.”

Karvelas’ Tweet explaining what had happened received over 3,000 likes, and prompted other social media users to share photos of their outfits in solidarity.

Australian politician Emma Husar posted a photo in a similar outfit to Karvelas’, saying: “In solidarity with the short sleeve breaker.”

Journalist Casey Briggs explained that he had not been asked to leave, despite not wearing a jacket.

After receiving the apology from the Australian government, Karvelas said she was “pleased” that there had been a review into the parliamentary dress code.

She said: “Pleased that female journalists will be free to wear professional clothing that reflects what politicians wear. Sensible outcome.”

According to the Parliament of Australia website, the dress code is a matter of “individual judgment”, with the verdict of what is appropriate lying with the Speaker.

It said acceptable attire “should involve good trousers, a jacket, collar and tie for men and a similar standard of formality for women”.

MP Adam Bandt also took to Twitter over the incident, saying: “I tried to get this ridiculous ‘bare arms’ rule for journalists changed last year. Sadly, it didn’t succeed then. Hope there’s a different result this time.”

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