Beard-gate: Policing minister Chris Philp loses the beard after 'negative family reaction'

Home Office minister Chris Philp has revealed that he was forced to shave his beard after his family raised concerns about his appearance.

The Conservative MP, 47, who usually has a clean-shaven look, began growing facial hair earlier this month.

However, he confessed this week that he had to abandon the beard and revert back to his traditional, smooth-faced appearance following a “negative family reaction”.

LBC presenter Nick Ferrari questioned Mr Philp about the sudden absence of his whiskers after the politician joined him in the studio on Thursday morning.

“Where’s the beard gone?”, Mr Ferrari asked.

Mr Philp replied: “I’m afraid there was a negative family reaction. I faced massive pressure. What did you think?”

“I think it made you look quite rugged,” Mr Ferrari responded.

It came as Mr Philp, who is the Minister for Policing, also warned that knife crime will not be fixed “overnight” despite a Government ban on zombie-style blades.

Fresh legislation will be laid in Parliament on Thursday in order to close what Home Secretary James Cleverly has described as a loophole within an existing ban on zombie-style weapons.

It came after campaigners including actor Idris Elba urged ministers to ban the weapons following a spate of killings in the capital.

Speaking to broadcasters during Thursday’s morning media round, Mr Philp said he had spoken with Elba in the Home Office on Wednesday about the issue and suggested the ban could be expanded further.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The ban we’re introducing in Parliament today specifies the design of the bladed article… some swords could fall into that definition.

“A regular sword, like the sort a historic soldier might carry, would probably not qualify. It would depend onthe design, but they may not qualify. That’s because there are a number of issues like… some religions have those swords.”

He added: “But the commitment that the Government will make, and I’ll make now, is that if we find in thefuture (that) there are other things that need to be brought into the scope, then we can do another statutory instrument like the one we’re doing today to ban those, because it’s much faster than using primary legislation.”

Mr Philp is the MP for Croydon South, a post he has held since May 2015.