A row over dress codes was branded as misogyny at last night’s Isle of Wight Council meeting.
During discussions over the revision of Isle of Wight Council’s constitution yesterday (Wednesday), Councillor Reg Barry said he had suggested a dress code for councillors, but believed he was probably the only councillor who did.
“Since this council started, and I have been at full council, I have seen people in scruffy jumpers, wearing shorts — it has been an absolute disgrace.”
Cllr Barry pointed out that chair of the meeting, Cllr George Cameron, “took the trouble to get dressed up and put a tie on”, so why didn’t other members?
Responding to the comments, Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, the council’s cabinet member for the COVID-19 response and strategic finances, said it wasn’t a constitutional matter but one for the direction of the chairman, who could ask a member to leave the chamber if they are dressed inappropriately. He said:
“Dress codes depend entirely on the time of year — we all wear ties and jackets but on [the chair’s] discretion have accepted open-neck shirts and more informal attire because of the heat.”
Councillor Clare Mosdell, only 1 of 6 female representatives on the 40-ward council, brought the matter to a close, by calling it a misogynistic conversation.
“We are having this great big conversation about whether you lot are going to wear ties — I find that offensive.”