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MPs taunt dress-wearing French minister

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MPs taunt dress-wearing French minister
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09:53 CEST+02:00
Members of Parliament whistled and jeered at the Housing Minister Cecile Duflot in the National Assembly on Tuesday because she was wearing a dress.

MPs started whistling and heckling Duflot as she walked down the aisle to the centre of the assembly to deliver a speech about a new metropolitan plan for the Paris region.

The housing minister was wearing a blue and white knee-length dress. Nothing too risqué, but a clear source of amusement for opposition right-wing MPs.

Duflot reacted to the booing by addressing the men in the assembly: "Ladies and gentlemen, but especially the gentlemen clearly here,..."

It is not unusual for female MPs to complain about macho attitudes in the French National Assembly. Last year, former sports minister Chantal Jouanno admitted she didn’t wear skirts to parliament because she didn’t want to be teased about her appearance.

Afterwards, lawmakers sought to make light of the incident. "We weren’t heckling or whistling at Cecile Duflot, we were admiring her," said UMP parliamentarian Patrick Balkany in an interview with Le Figaro.

This is not the first time Duflot’s dress sense has come under fire. She also attracted plenty of comments after wearing a pair of jeans to her first Council of Ministers after being appointed housing minister when François Hollande came to power in May.

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