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Commons new boy Craig Oliver learns the ropes

Michael Crick | 16:30 UK time, Monday, 28 February 2011

It was good to see David Cameron's new communications chief Craig Oliver in the Commons press gallery on his first day at work, listening to the PM's statement on Libya this afternoon.

Just before Mr Oliver went into the gallery, a colleague saved him from potential embarrassment, by pointing out that no men are allowed into the gallery without a tie.

So Mr Oliver quickly "borrowed" a blue and white striped tie from the coat racks outside.

A case - almost literally perhaps - of quickly learning the ropes.


  • Comment number 1.

    Some years ago a colleague from New Scientist magazine was challenged at the door of the Cafe Royal, the venue for a farming press conference. "Sorry Sir but no admission without a tie," he was told. He lifted his sweater and replied "There it is". And so it was, around his waist holding up his trousers.

  • Comment number 2.

    That's a bit of an outdated rule surely? It is the press gallery, not a gentlemen's club.

    Oh, yes, sorry, pardon me.

  • Comment number 3.

    On reflection, the habit of most of BBC's finest swanning off for weeks at the drop of a school holiday is maybe no bad thing.

    No like anything of substance happened to write about anyway.

  • Comment number 4.

    I heard that ties are no longer claimable on expenses, so he's a lucky man there was any spare going in the Commons.

  • Comment number 5.

    I have immense difficulty in treating half-dressed scruffy herberts with any degree of seriousness. If you can't be bothered to treat other people with due courtesy by dressing yourself to a proper standard then don't expect any consideration. It is not as if being a Press Secretary involves manual work. I trust he had his trousers hitched up above his backside.

    Even Tesco has banned people wearing pyjamas from their stores, and quiet right too! There is a time and a place.


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