Nick Clegg: “I was padding around my office without my shoes on yesterday… obviously at events, I put my shoes back on”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has revealed his method of keeping cool in the office during the recent hot weather spell – removing his shoes.
Mr Clegg told LBC radio he has been padding around his office in bare feet.
But he assured listeners he respected “the dignity of the office [of the deputy prime minister]” by reuniting with his footwear for public events.
The Met Office has raised the heatwave warning to “level three” for south-west England and the West Midlands.
The move brings those regions in line with the South East and London, where level three warnings remain in place.
South-west England was issued a similar warning last week, alongside Yorkshire and the Humber – where temperatures have eased to a level two warning.
Mr Clegg was taking part in his weekly radio phone-in with LBC listeners on Thursday morning, when he was asked whether he would let his staff wear shorts to work in the hot weather.
The Liberal Democrat leader joked that he did not want to intrude in office politics, but he said he was “perfectly relaxed” about his workers choice of office wear, so long as they are not in public facing jobs.
“If they’re in their offices working hard, as they do, I’m very keen that they shouldn’t over heat,” he joked.
He said: “I was padding around in my office without my shoes on yesterday, but obviously in public events when I have to respect the dignity of the office I put my shoes back on.”
On Wednesday a group of Labour MPs tabled an Early Day Motion in the Commons that called for workers to be sent home when the temperature reaches 30C indoors.
But Mr Clegg said: “I don’t think we should suddenly be passing laws and issuing great rules for everybody.”
He said people should be “pragmatic” if they are working in offices which do not have air-conditioning.
Wednesday was the hottest day of the year, with 32.2C recorded at Hampton Water Works in south-west London.
It is the UK’s first prolonged heatwave since 2006.