A Labour MP has shown off his painted nails in the House of Commons to raise awareness of modern slavery in some nail bars.
Darren Jones, who represents Bristol North West, defended local police officers who suffered a backlash when they tweeted pictures of their own painted nails.
The "Let's Nail It" campaign from Avon and Somerset police aims to help people spot the signs of modern slavery, which includes human trafficking and keeping people in forced labour.
Jones said nail bars and carwashes were common locations for such abuses, but for many people modern slavery "continues unseen".
Jones said four people had been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and slavery offences in a nail bar in his constituency in July.
"Indeed in one of my first constituency surgeries as a new MP, a constituent came to me with little English, tearful, unable to communicate the sheer disempowerment and lack of dignity she had suffered from sexual exploitation in this country," he said.
"I share other members' concerns that the papers have reported a backlash against Avon and Somerset constabulary for wanting to raise this issue on social media in a way that communicates to people in their daily lives to keep an eye out for where they see these activities happening.
"And so with thanks to my honourable friends the members for Bristol East [Kerry McCarthy] and Bristol West [Thangam Debbonaire] – perhaps as the first male MP in the chamber – I too very proudly paint my nails today in support of the Let's Nail It campaign for Avon and Somerset police," he said.
"It's not an endorsement for Eddie Izzard on the Labour NEC [national executive committee]."
The debate was led by ex-Home Office minister Vernon Coaker, a Labour MP, who called for more action to tackle modern slavery.
"We have to challenge ourselves to do better – it is not acceptable that modern slavery still exists, it is a blight on the conscience of this nation, and whilst we have done a lot there is so much more to do," he said.
Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Emily Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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