STAFF in the Scottish Parliament will no longer be allowed to wear rainbow lanyards or badges in a crackdown on personalised clothing – although certain pins, such as those displaying poppies or personal pronouns, will still be allowed.

The move, which was announced by Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) member Claire Baker MSP, is aimed at minimising the risk of perceived bias.

In an email sent out on Wednesday from Lorna Foreman, group head of people and culture, Holyrood staffers were told that they would have to wear a parliament-issued purple lanyard moving forward.

The email said: “All SPS [Scottish Parliamentary Service] staff must wear a parliament issued purple lanyard and remove pins and badges showing support for social movements and towards campaigns or organisations.”

It went on: “Wearing personalised lanyards and/or pins and badges showing support for social movements and towards campaigns or organisations has led some organisations and individuals to consider that the SPS cannot be impartial when supporting the parliament to debate government policy, proposed new laws and current significant societal issues.

“This decision will help to minimise the risk of perceived bias and avoid any perception that wearing such items may be influencing our own decision-making.

“Colleagues can continue to wear a pronoun pin or badge. Wearing a pronoun pin or badge is a simple but effective way of signalling that we respect people’s pronouns and their gender identity. We want all our members, staff, contractors, and visitors to feel safe to be true to who they are.”

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It went on to say that staffers with “adjustment passports who wear sunflower lanyards and/or pin or badge can continue to do so but must also wear a parliament issued purple lanyard”.

Pin badges which identify staff as Gaelic speakers or first aiders will not be banned, and neither will pins showing membership of an SPCB-recognised trade union or poppy pins.

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “This decision will help minimise the risk of perceived bias.

“It will also help avoid any potential misperception over the absolute impartiality of all Scottish parliamentary staff.”

Scottish Greens equalities spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, said she feared the ban on the iconic design being worn by colleagues goes against years of anti discrimination work.

Chapman said: “This is a disappointing decision that, I think, sends the wrong message to parliament staff and visitors, and particularly to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalised groups.

“Nobody stops being the person they are when they go to work, and wearing different coloured lanyards, such as rainbows, can be a simple gesture of self expression and of an inclusive workplace. Denying that opportunity is a regressive step.

“Our parliamentary staff do a crucial job in ensuring a safe and welcoming atmosphere for visitors, and we should do all we can to make it as positive a place for them to work as possible.

“I hope that we can reconsider this decision and make clear how we will act to ensure that our parliament maintains its reputation as a positive and inclusive workplace.”