Budget Day is traditionally a time when all eyes are on the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
But yesterday Theresa May managed to upstage George Osborne’s speech – not through any political statement but with her daring choice of clothing.
As the Chancellor ploughed through the statistics, many could not help but find the 59-year-old Home Secretary, sitting to his left on the front bench in the House of Commons, something of a distraction.
Eyeful: A lacy bra peeking out from underneath her red dress, the Home Secretary Theresa May caused quite the stir on Twitter, dividing opinion between those who couldn’t stop talking about it and others critical of them
Twitter user @TenajMe wrote: ‘#TheresaMay put your baps away darling we all have a pair. Thanks’, while ‘CoxeyLoxey’ added: ‘They are going to escape in a minute…’
Her low-cut dress revealed a little more than just her tan lines – and her spiral necklace only accentuated the matter.
The pictures were taken yesterday as a stills photographer was allowed into the Commons for the first time.
The Home Secretary’s outfit prompted a brief deluge of chatter on social media website Twitter.
So great was the attention she received that one Twitter user posted: ‘I think Theresa May may have just broke the internet.’
But other Twitter users were dismayed by the extensive online discussion about Mrs May’s plunging neckline, branding it ‘everyday sexism’ and ‘ridiculous’, and lamenting how it was ‘dumbing down politics’.
Talking point: The Chancellor George Osborne found himself somewhat upstaged by Theresa May’s outfit, a cleavage-boosting number which provoked almost as much debate as the Budget itself
Backlash: Other Twitter users were dismayed by the extensive online discussion about Mrs May’s breasts, branding it ‘everyday sexism’ and ‘ridiculous’ and lamenting how it was ‘dumbing down politics’
One said: ‘Seriously. Women have breasts, people. Even if they’re Home Secretary. And even if they’re over 40.’
Another posted: ‘Theresa May is the longest serving Home Sec since 1892, but she has breasts. Who cares? Ridiculous, as ever.’
Others defended the Home Secretary’s dress and matching jacket. One poster said: ‘Theresa May’s bosom was a bit of a focus puller. Good on her.’
TV cameras have been transmitting images from the Commons since 1989, and radio broadcasting of debates and announcements began in 1978.
Critical: One, Kate Maltby wrote: ‘Seriously. Women have breasts, people. Even if they’re Home Secretary. And even if they’re over 40. *goes back to bed* #theresamay’
Others defended Mrs May’s look, Mellie Buse posting: ‘Theresa May’s bosom was a bit of a focus puller. Good on her.’ She and Mr Osborne appeared to share an awkward moment at the end of his Budget speech
George Osborne announced a string of policies which he said would make Britain ready for the next generation
Despite the backlash, plenty more remarks were made about how Mrs May’s choice of outfit had set tongues wagging. Charlotte Neal tweeted: ‘Theresa May, congrats on spicing up the budget with your outfit choice’
Last year the rules were liberalised further to allow close-up shots of MPs by installing eye-level cameras as well as the traditional fixed positions.
Among the key announcements made by Mr Osborne in his Budget were:
- A sugar tax will be imposed on soft drinks;
- Increase the personal tax allowance from £11,000 to £11,500;
- 40p tax threshold to rise to £45,000 – a £400 tax cut for 500,000 middle-earners;
- Maths until the age of 18 for all pupils;
- £1.5bn in new schools funding to extend the school day and turn all state run schools into academies.