Tracy Brabin’s dress raises more than £20,000 for Girlguiding UK

PUBLISHED: 09:30 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:30 14 February 2020

Tracy Brabin raising a point of order in the Commons on Monday follwing Downing Street's decision to order senior journalists from some of the UK's major news organisations to leave before a briefing on Boris Johnson's Brexit plans. Photograph: PA Wire.

Tracy Brabin raising a point of order in the Commons on Monday follwing Downing Street's decision to order senior journalists from some of the UK's major news organisations to leave before a briefing on Boris Johnson's Brexit plans. Photograph: PA Wire.

An off-the-shoulder dress worn by Tracy Brabin in the House of Commons has raised more £20,200 for Girlguiding UK.

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The Labour frontbencher was forced to defend her attire after the dress slipped down her shoulder when she leaned on the despatch box due to a broken ankle.

The final bid for the controversial dress came in seconds before the auction ended at 6.41pm, with the winning bidder paying £20,200 plus £3.48 postage.

"It's extremely humbling to be able to do this for Girlguiding and I am looking forward to attending a meeting tonight and celebrating with the girls," Brabin told the PA news agency.

"I want to encourage them to really be proud of who they are, to support each other as girls and to not take any criticism from anyone - particularly boys - as I have found in my experiences with Twitter."

More than 180 bids were placed on the dress, which had a starting price of £10 and was originally bought on ASOS for £35.

Brabin said she listed the dress as a way of standing up for women in the workplace.

"I thought I would maybe get £500 for it, which would have been amazing," she said.

"I do not think in three years being an MP anything has made quite as much an impact like this."

After the auction ended, Brabin said she would be attending a meeting of the 1st Roberttown and Norristhorpe Guides, based in her constituency.

Henrietta, a 15-year-old member of Girlguiding's Advocate Panel, said: "You could say that I'm foolish for wanting to be an MP. As #shouldergate has shown, female MPs are often vilified for their looks, not their actions.

"This demeans girls and our aspirations to be politicians. But Tracy Brabin - and all the people who supported her and Girlguiding by bidding on the dress - have shown that oppression is never acceptable.

"Girlguiding helped me persevere against the judgment of my looks. I'm elated that the money raised is going to an organisation that inspires girls and builds our confidence at a time where women's concerns are dismissed as 'humbug'. Girlguiding makes the future brighter for girls and young women."

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