MPs banned from touching statues

Historic statues of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher could be cordoned off to prevent MPs from touching their feet for luck.

The tradition of politicians touching images of former prime ministers as they enter the Commons chamber is a gesture believed to bring good luck. But the parliamentary authorities have warned that the statues of Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, Margaret Thatcher and David Lloyd George are now “seriously under threat” from the repeated wear and tear.

A “do not touch” sign will be put permanently on display and new MPs will not be informed about the tradition.

The House’s deputy curator, Melanie Unwin, told the cross-party Works of Art Committee: “Four statues (Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, Margaret Thatcher and David Lloyd George) in the Members’ Lobby are seriously under threat due to the tradition of touching the toes of the statues for good luck.

“There are now cracks and small holes on the surface of the Churchill statue and substantial loss of surface texture on other statues.”

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