Tory MP sorry after novelty tie breaks into speech

Knotty boy: Nadhim Zahawi was upbraided over his choice of neckwear‚Äé

A Conservative MP has apologised after inadvertently turning on his musical tie while making a speech in the House of Commons.

Nadhim Zahawi's red neckpiece - worn as part of an anti-cancer campaign - started playing a tinny tune during a debate on education funding.

Deputy Speaker Dawn Primarolo urged him to be "more selective" in future in his choice of ties.

Mr Zahawi agreed to abide by her "words of wisdom" from now on.

The Stratford-on-Avon MP was speaking in a Labour-led debate on the future of the Educational Maintenance Allowance in England when a tune rang out for about 20 seconds.

'Taken on board'

As colleagues and opponents looked around the chamber for the source, Mr Zahawi realised what had happened and switched off his tie.

He said: "I apologise. It is my tie to support the campaign against bowel cancer that was making that noise. It is a musical tie."

Ms Primarolo called for order, saying: "Perhaps next time the honourable gentleman will be more selective in the ties he wears in the chamber and then we won't need the musical accompaniment."

Mr Zahawi replied: "Your words of wisdom are taken on board and I apologise to you."

Later in the debate, Labour MP George Howarth began his speech by saying: "Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to compete with the honourable gentleman with regards our respective ties - but I rather hope I'll surpass him on the arguments he's just made."

Mr Zahawi wore the tie as part of a campaign run by national charity Beating Bowel Cancer.

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