not suitable? Despair at falling public service dress code

Boris Johnson sets an example (Jeremy Selwyn)

Boris Johnson sets an example (Jeremy Selwyn)

Tailoring standards are falling in Whitehall. Since working from home has started since the pandemic, complaints about officers dressing messy in and out of the office have been on the rise.

There are attempts to restore order. We’ve heard that trainers have been banned in the Treasury since Jeremy Hunt became Chancellor. A tipping point was reached at DCMS this month when a government official donned a branded Huel t-shirt. Huel is a meal replacement oatmeal for trendy folks.

“Things like suits and ties are almost unheard of anymore unless you work in a minister’s office, and people have definitely been dressing more informally since Covid,” one official tells us. The Londoner understands that while government-wide official dress codes are not enforced, most departments expect stylish clothing, especially in the presence of ministers.

Johnsons can’t keep up

Sarah Lancashire (BBC/Lookout/Matt Squire)

Sarah Lancashire (BBC/Lookout/Matt Squire)

Millions came to ITV on Sunday to watch Prince Harry’s interview with Tom Bradby. But apparently the Johnson family was not among them.

The shock interview clashed with the police drama Happy Valley on BBC1, and Carrie Johnson, a fan of the show, was apparently watching it live as she liked tweets that responded to the drama. A quiet life after the number 10 has some advantages.

Happy reunion of Dame Helen

Helen Mirren (Dave Benett)

Helen Mirren (Dave Benett)

Dame Helen Mirren says she is delighted to “reunite” with Harrison Ford, one of the world’s richest actors, in her new western series, 1923. They last acted together in the ’80s movie The Mosquito Coast. In the intervening decades, “I’ve climbed closer to its stratospheric layers,” says the ever humble Dame Helen. She thinks her previous work “has informed our relationship very well now”. It brought us closer together and I think that shows.”

Activists disrupt Shell conference

Shell (PA Environment)

Shell (PA Environment)

Yesterday, a bombing conference was foiled in the City by activists from Fossil Free London. Minutes before Shell country president David Bunch spoke, an unsettling murmur filled the hall: “Oh my God, there are activists in the room.” Protesters began to call out about climate change. “I am not an activist. “I’m just a mother and I’m worried about my kids,” she said. They were removed from the building.

Red carpet for Margot and Brad

Londoner’s Diary 13 January 2023

English National Ballet

English National Ballet

English National Ballet

English National Ballet

English National Ballet

English National Ballet

English National Ballet

English National Ballet

Hollywood’s bests Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt celebrated the premiere of Babylon on the BFI IMAX red carpet in Waterloo last night. Across town, principal ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell enjoyed the English National Ballet’s Swan Lake performance. Actor Mark Rylance and his wife, composer and playwright Claire Van Kampen were among the guests. Comics Jessica Hynes and David Baddiel were spotted having pre-show drinks at the nearby St Martin’s Lane Hotel.

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