[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 16:35 GMT
Cameron hair - the barber did it
David Cameron before and after
Several commentators noticed the change on Wednesday
David Cameron's office has revealed the real reason he changed his hairstyle - he was acting on his barber's advice.

The Tory leader's decision to part his hair on the left was subject to much speculation, after the new look was unveiled at prime ministers' questions.

Some thought he was trying to look more butch, or to hide a receding hairline.

But his spokesman said he took his children for a haircut and decided to have a trim himself, when the barber said his parting was on the wrong side.

He also said the cut set Mr Cameron back 10, at a hairdressers in North Kensington, London.

Several commentators noticed the change on Wednesday and had come up with their own theories for it. Some thought it was an attempt to look more masculine, but others said a left parting was more feminine.

'No significance'

Daily Mail sketchwriter Quentin Letts said image was important to voters and told the BBC: "Cameron seems to be changing direction - which is of course a very good metaphor for what he's doing with his party."

But a spokesman said of Mr Cameron's change: "There is no political significance in his decision to do so."

He said Mr Cameron had paid 10 for his haircut at a salon in North Kensington.

Hair can be a sensitive political issue. In 2002, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder took a news agency to court for suggesting that he dyed his hair - and won.

And there has long been speculation Tony Blair gained an advantage over Mr Cameron's three predecessors as Tory leader, Michael Howard, Iain Duncan Smith and William Hague, as each of them was bald.

The last time a bald politician was elected prime minister was Winston Churchill in 1951 - and he was up against the equally balding Clement Attlee.

Reports Mr Cameron's new hairstyle was designed to mask a bald spot were denied by his spokesman, although photographs of the Tory leader taken earlier on a visit to a hospital in Ely, Cambridgeshire, appear to show the first grey hairs on the 40-year-old's head.

Hair buzz as Cameron moves left
15 Mar 07 |  UK Politics
Bald truth about attracting voters
26 Apr 05 |  Election 2005
Hair today, election tomorrow
17 May 02 |  Europe

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific