Calls For Top Totty Ale To Be Banned From House Of Commons Bar
"Top Totty" is hardly parliamentary language, but it managed to find its way into the weekly business questions in the House of Commons on Thursday morning, when a Labour MP expressed outrage at a beer by the same name being sold in a parliamentary bar.
Kate Green, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston, said she was "disturbed" to discover that the current guest beer at the Strangers Bar in the Commons is called "Top Totty", resplendent with a scantily clad woman on its pump handle label.
The MP said it showed the need for a debate on "dignity in the workplace in Parliament", having first observed the label on a trip to the bar on Wednesday evening (HuffPost UK saw her there after the Welfare Reform Bill votes, as it happens).
She asked Sir George Young: "Would the leader of the house join with me in asking that this beer is withdrawn immediately from the bar?"
The beer is described by manufacturer Slater's Ales as : "A stunning blonde beer full bodied with a voluptuous hop aroma.
"This award winning beer brewed soley (sic) with Whitbred Goldings Hops produces an initial burst of bitterness with a citrus fruity finish."
Sir George Young said he would raise the matter with the appropriate officer in Parliament, adding: "I would very much regret it if any such offensive pictures were on display in any part of the House."
Female Labour frontbencher Kerry McCarthy told Huff Post UK that the beer was "demeaning" and "this is the workplace of many female MPs, and other women too."
"It's the picture. The picture is so 1970s playboy. I just can't believe, I suppose it would still be a bit offensive in a commercial bar. But something with a playboy bunny called top totty in the MPs' bar just seems totally demeaning."
She added: "Kate Green is a shadow minister, she's doing very serious work. This might seem a trivial issue but it's something that can be very easily rectified."
"This highlights the dilemma of being a politician. You get attention for the frivolous things, I think it is demeaning there's no place for it in what is basically our workplace and I'm very glad they're getting it removed but I also think it's a tiny symbolic thing about the way women are not treated with respect. It's frustrating that an issue like this will get attention and not the more serious stuff."
The House of Commons speaker's wife, Sally Bercow, said the beer's name was "outrageous."
But Charlotte Vere, founder of Women On and former Tory candidate told Huff Post UK the row represented "more authoritarian posturing from radical feministas who are after a fun-free and sex-free world."