STYLE
22/09/2015 06:29 BST | Updated 22/09/2015 14:59 BST

London Fashion Week Told Ban 'Ultra-Skinny' Models Or Risk Losing Funding, By Green Party

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
Models at London Fashion Week at at Brewer Street Car Park, in Soho, central London, (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

The future of London Fashion Week has been called into question on the last day of the spring/summer 16 shows as political pressure to impose a ban on "ultra-skinny" models increases.

The Green Party has today announced that it would seek to block City Hall funding for London Fashion Week in future years unless there is an agreement that all models have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18.

City Hall is giving £649,000 to the British Fashion Council (BFC) this year for activities including London Fashion Week.

Sian Berry, the Green Party's mayoral candidate said:“Support for London Fashion Week should come with the clear message that those who recruit and employ models have a responsibility for their welfare as well as the messages about body image that they promote.

"I would like most of all to work with London's fantastic fashion industry to promote healthy and positive body images."

sian berry green party

Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry

The Green Party say they would put this plan into action if they hold the balance of power on the London Assembly after May's London elections.

The Green Party's announcement comes after Conservative MP Caroline Noakes, who heads the All Parliamentary Group on Body Image, announced her campaign for a law banning models with a BMI of under 18 from the catwalk.

Noakes and Berry agree that they would like the UK to follow in the lead of France, which is the latest country to vote to criminalise the use of models who are dangerously thin.

HuffPost UK Style has contacted the British Fashion Council for a statement.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that for adults, the healthy range for BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. An adult with a BMI below 18 is considered malnourished, and 17 severely malnourished.

The British Fashion Council currently does not enforce a minimum BMI for models, as they believe it is an inaccurate measure for young women.

Instead, the organisation say they have "a focus on looking after models [and] encourage health and wellbeing with healthy food and drink provided backstage at shows."

Model Rosie Nelson, who has launched a petition asking the Government to create a law to protect models from the pressure to be "dangerously skinny", agrees with the BFC that BMI is not a good measure of a model's health.

Therefore, while she would like to see a change in the law, the politicians focus on BMI is not something she can get behind.

"BMI is a very blunt tool which doesn't consider personal diets or exercise regimes when determining a person's health status," she told HuffPost UK Style.

"I would rather see a different set of health checks put in place where models are asked to provide regular health certificates from their doctor.

"I believe the agencies representing models also have a responsibility of care for their girls. They should make time to regularly discuss health and well-being with their models, to ensure they are looked after in the workplace.

A healthy image and lifestyle is what a model should promote, not a certain body size or shape.

"If a law was brought in that required models to have health checks every three to six months then we would see a huge change in the modelling industry within the first year."

"I think that, regardless of any funding changes, the council should recognise how important this issue is to so many people.

"They shouldn't need to feel threatened in order to take responsibility and start making improvements."

UPDATE: British Fashion Council Responds To Criticism Over 'Ultra-Skinny Models' At London Fashion Week

SEE ALSO:

Victoria Beckham Criticised For Using 'Skinny Models' In New York Fashion Week Show

MP Calls For Thin Models To Be Banned From Catwalk Ahead Of London Fashion Week

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