Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow was left somewhat bemused today when Chris Bryant MP wished him a "happy 'kiss a ginger day'". "Kiss a ginger day" has taken place every year on 12 January since it was inaugurated in 2009.

It is believed to be the first time it has been referred to in British parliament. Bryant, MP for North Antrim, is himself a proud redhead and wished Bercow a happy "kiss a ginger day" before diving into a speech about repairs to the Palace of Westminster.

The reference took the House by surprise and led many to question what Bryant was talking about. At one point he turned to Bercow and said: "I'm sure you can look it up". An off-camera female MP shouted "that's surreal - who would want to kiss you Chris?" across the floor.