UK Politics

Mary Portas wants to restyle 'ugly cabinet'

Mary Portas outside Downing Street
Image caption Mary Portas arrives at Downing Street after her critique of the cabinet

Retail guru Mary Portas has dismissed the women in David Cameron's cabinet as a poorly-dressed "ugly bunch".

In an interview with Heat magazine, Ms Portas, one of the prime minister's high profile advisers, said she could not bear to look at them.

"They do dress up for my meetings, but I just want to go: 'Please no, not that necklace, not that skirt'," she said.

Ms Portas, the star of TV show Mary Queen of Shops, is looking at how to halt the decline of the High Street.

Her review, to be presented this autumn, is looking at the problem of empty shops and how to prevent the growth of "clone towns" dominated by chainstores.

Ms Portas, described by Mr Cameron in the past as "straight-talking, no-nonsense", said she wanted the chance to give his cabinet a makeover.

"If I were PM, I'd restyle all those women, I mean, the female cabinet, what an ugly bunch," she said.

She drew a comparison with French women, saying "they're like, wow, aren't they? What do we have? I'd say let's just put a bit of sex and glamour in there".

Leopard print

Female cabinet members include Home Secretary Theresa May, known for her love of leopard print and exotic shoes, and Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Warsi, who on her appointment to cabinet drew attention in a pink and purple shalwar kameez.

The other two female members are Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan.

Ms Portas, seen entering Downing Street on Tuesday morning, is currently appearing in a new Channel 4 series, Mary Queen of Frocks, which follows the launch of her own clothes and shoes store.

The Department for Business said Ms Portas was attending a meeting about her high street review in the Cabinet Office - and was not at the morning's cabinet meeting.

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