UK Politics

'Father Christmas' Ed Balls votes in full costume

Ed Balls with fellow Labour MP Pamela Nash
Image caption Ho...ho..ho... Ed Balls surprises one of his fellow Labour MPs

"Father Christmas" has taken time out of his busy festive schedule to vote in the Commons, according to MPs.

His appearance in a vote on the Banking Bill prompted Tory MP Stuart Andrew to tweet he had "seen it all".

Santa was in fact shadow chancellor Ed Balls, straight from the Westminster Kids Club Christmas party, where he plays the role of Father Christmas.

Labour MP Pamela Nash posted a picture of the shadow chancellor, adding "look who I met in the voting lobby".

The dress code for MPs during Commons business is strictly adhered to, with men required to wear a jacket and tie at all times.

However, when there are votes, MPs are allowed to pop into the lobbies in less formal attire.