Home Secretary Theresa May has said she had no regrets about being famous for her love of shoes.
The Conservative MP – who faced questions about her shoes from journalists during a visit to Chelmsford, Essex – said the topic was often a useful “icebreaker”.
Mrs May hit the headlines in 2002 after donning a pair of leopard-print kitten heels at a Conservative Party conference.
A journalist said he regretted that she had decided not to don similar footwear when meeting police.
“I wear my shoes to match my outfit,” said Mrs May, who was wearing a pair of flat back pumps with a silver diamante badge as well as a three-quarter length black and brown zig-zag pattered coat.
“I have no regrets (about being famous for my shoes). The good thing about my shoes is that they are often an icebreaker.”
Mrs May, who chatted to journalists outside a Studio 1 Sixty beauty salon in a parade of shops in Chelmsford, added: “I was in the Commons recently and saw a young lady wearing a nice pair of shoes. I said I liked them and she said my shoes were the reason she became involved in politics.”
Last year she told the BBC: “It is quite widely known that I like shoes.
“This is not something that defines me as either a woman or a politician, but it has come to define me in the eyes of the newspapers.
“I wore a pair of leopard-print kitten heels to a Conservative Party Conference a few years ago and the papers have continued to focus on my feet ever since.”