Shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin responds to social media criticism of her shoulder-baring outfit

Labour frontbencher Tracy Brabin has hit back at critics who said her clothing in the House of Commons was not appropriate.

MP for Batley and Spen since 2016, Brabin was seen wearing an off-shoulder outfit as she spoke at the dispatch box on Tuesday.

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Brabin had been addressing MPs in the Commons and criticising Downing Street’s order to ban senior journalists who work at some of the UK’s most prominent news outlets from briefings on Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans.

“The government’s behaviour in these matters threatens the civil service’s core values of impartiality and objectivity,” she said.

“It also brings into question the integrity of future government media briefings and the conduct of their special advisers, and it damages a free and vibrant press, which is central to this parliamentary democracy.”

Outfit criticism

Twitter user Lawrence Dovey shared a screenshot of BBC Parliament showing Brabin speaking in the House of Commons, and added the caption: “Is this really appropriate attire for parliament?” and added the hashtag #DressStandards.

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Hello. Sorry I don’t have time to reply to all of you commenting on this but I can confirm I’m not....A slagHungoverA tartAbout to breastfeedA slapper DrunkJust been banged over a wheelie bin.Who knew people could get so emotional over a shoulder... 🙄

— Tracy Brabin MP 🌹 (@TracyBrabin) February 4, 2020

Brabin retweeted Dovey’s criticism, saying: “Sorry I don’t have time to reply to all of you commenting on this but I can confirm I’m not….A slag, Hungover, A Tart, About to breastfeed, A slapper, Drunk, [or] Just been banged over a wheelie bin.

“Who knew people could get so emotional over a shoulder.”

Lawrence Dovey has since deleted his Twitter account.

Tracy Brabin MP

Born in 1961, Brabin was a successful actress and writer prior to entering politics.

Brabin appeared in British shows like Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and Silent Witness UK, and wrote episodes of shows including Shameless and Doctors.

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She has been the Labour Co-operative Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen since 2016, when she held the seat for Labour in a by-election prompted by the murder of Jo Cox.

In July 2017 Brabin was appointed as Shadow Early Years Minister by Jeremy Corbyn, and in January 2020 she succeeded former Deputy Labour Leader Tom Watson as Shadow Culture Secretary when he stepped down.