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Tracy Brabin: Labour MP’s off-the-shoulder dress raises £20,000 for charity

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

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

In response to the condemnations online, Ms Brabin wrote on Twitter that she was not a “slag, hungover, a tart, about to breastfeed, a slapper, drunk, just been banged over a wheelie bin”.

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

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

Ms Brabin said: “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.

“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.”

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

The auction of the ‘shouldergate’ dress on eBay raised £20,000 for Girlguiding (PA)

“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, Ms 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.”

Press Association

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