Warning of wedding dress shortage in UK as China shuts factories

A shortage of wedding dresses in the UK could be one of the effects of

A shortage of wedding dresses in the UK could be one of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, MPs have heard.

Labour’s Chris Bryant told the House of Commons how “many wedding dresses in this country are designed in this country but made in China”.

He described how many wedding dress producers – including those in his Rhondda constituency – have “found it really difficult because the factories have been closed in China” as the country battles to contain the virus.

Mr Bryant, who is married to Jared Cranney, joked to MPs how he had “married many women in my time… when I was a vicar!”; as he warned of the “very time sensitive” nature of wedding dress supply.

Calling on the government to provide financial support to affected firms, Mr Bryant added: “There’s a real danger to many of these businesses that they’re going to suffer enormous financial loss, let alone to the families.”

Responding to Mr Bryant as he took MPs’ questions on the coronavirus outbreak, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was working with the Treasury on an “appropriate response”.

“He raises an important point and – through the medium of the wedding dress – makes actually a much broader point, which is that a huge amount of things are made in China,” the cabinet minister said.

“This is true also of drugs and pharmaceuticals and right across the board, especially clothing, this virus and the impact on China will have an impact here through those supply chain problems.

“I’m working with the Treasury on the appropriate response to that.

“Containing the virus will obviously have health benefits but it will have economic benefits too.”