David Cameron urged to stop shaving for Lent

The grooming habits of the prime minister have already made the news once this week.

The prime minister appeared in the House of Commons on Monday sporting an unusual parting in his hair, combed backwards and sideways across the top of his head.

But now the Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, want David Cameron to go one step furhter.

They are suggesting he set an example of sacrifice and give up shaving for Lent.

The campaigners argue that a prime ministerial beard would send a message that the even the most powerful politician in the land is adopting a personally austere approach during Lent.

They also suggest that a beard grown between now and Easter could provide a real element of diversity in British political life.

It would offer "a clear point of differentiation between Mr Cameron and his coalition partner, the perpetually clean shaven Nick Clegg".

Beards remain a rarity in British politics. No cabinet ministers in the current government sport any kind of facial furniture. You have to go back to the likes of Frank Dobson and David Blunkett for the last time an MP with a beard held a senior position of state. 

But while David Cameron could end this hiatus by stopping shaving during Lent, perhaps we should really be asking: can the prime minister even grow a beard?