A decision by Commons Speaker John Bercow to allow male MPs not to wear a tie in the chamber prompted a Chester hospital porter to contact a national radio station about his chief executive’s relaxed attire.
In a break with tradition, Mr Bercow said MPs should wear ‘businesslike attire’ but that it was not essential for this to include ties.
Presenter Nicky Campbell, who relayed the message to listeners, said: “Morning, I work as a porter at Chester hospital. We have to wear ties between October and April and between May and September, ties are optional. Our chief executive never wears a tie. Don’t mention my name. Thanks.”
The Chronicle contacted chief executive Tony Chambers on a day when he happened to be wearing a tie.
Mr Chambers, who began his career on the ‘shop floor’ as a student nurse at Bolton in 1985 before entering management, explained that being tie-less could break down social barriers.
He said: “It very much depends on the occasion as to whether I decide to wear a tie or not. I think they definitely have their place in a more traditional and formal setting, but it’s a bit different at the hospital. When I’m out visiting the wards I wouldn’t wear a tie because that is what we ask of our doctors. I also want staff and patients at the Countess to feel they can always approach and talk to me.
“You’d be surprised how the simple act of not wearing a tie makes that much easier.”
He texted: "Yes, I always wear a tie in Parliament, even when it's hot, and will continue to do so."