What is it about special advisors? Why do so many of them dress down as though they are off to a festival? Is it to give themselves an air of nonchalance, to show they are more concerned with heavy-lifting ideas than grubby politics?
Who knows, but the latest special adviser to perfect the guise is Liam Booth-Smith, who looks as though he has sold out Shepherd’s Bush Empire. As you will see, Booth-Smith has the look down to a T: he is unshaven, unbuttoned to the navel, and wearing a punk leather Johnny Rotten would be proud of. What a contrast to his boss, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, who is always so dapper – tailored navy suit and slim-fitted shirt with a patterned blue tie.
Booth-Smith follows a long line of scruffpot spads. Dominic Cummings gave a masterclass in eff-off dressing with his Levi-branded hoodie and cargo jeans. Nick Timothy, with his scraggly beard, looked like hadn’t seen his reflection in the mirror for a while. And who can forget Steve Hilton? A man who looked like he has been ripped straight out of a Jacamo catalogue.
The Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has already warned MPs about scruffiness, telling them to stick to “business attire” last week when they returned to Westminster. Time for Hoyle to turn his attention to spads, too.