'Shouldergate' dress auction raises more than £20,000 for Girlguiding

Shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin hit back at those who criticised her for baring her shoulder in the dress while raising a point of order in the Commons

Brabin with the dress
Brabin with the dress

The auction of the “shouldergate” dress worn in parliament by the shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin has raised £20,200 for Girlguiding.

The Batley & Spen MP put the garment up for auction on eBay to raise funds for the charity after she was criticised on social media for wearing the dress in the House of Commons while she was raising an urgent point of order.

She had to lean on the dispatch box because of a broken ankle. 

Last night, Brabin took part in a guiding meeting in her constituency to see how funds raised from the sale of the dress, which she took with her on the visit, will be used to support girls and young women.

There were 180 bids on the dress. 

The charity said the proceeds would be used to improve guiding, reach new volunteers and help more girls find local guiding groups.

Fifteen-year-old Henrietta, a member of Girlguiding’s advocate panel, a group of women aged between 14 and 25 who act as the charity’s spokespeople, said: “As #shouldergate has shown, female MPs are often vilified for their looks, not their actions.

“This demeans girls and our aspirations to be politicians.

“But Tracy Brabin – and all the people who supported her and Girlguiding by bidding on the dress – have shown that oppression is never acceptable.

“I’m elated that the money raised is going to an organisation that inspires girls and builds our confidence at a time where women’s concerns are dismissed as ‘humbug’.”

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