04/15/2012 05:38 EDT | Updated 06/15/2012 05:12 EDT

Thomas Mulcair, NDP Leader, Plans To Keep Beard

OTTAWA - The NDP may have a new face with Thomas Mulcair, but the new opposition leader doesn't plan on getting a new one for himself.

He says he is keeping his beard.

Mulcair's rich, neatly trimmed beard has generated a fair bit of media attention since he won the party's leadership last month.

There hasn't been a bearded prime minister since 1894 when Mackenzie Bowell was in office, and Bowell never had to run on his whiskers.

The Conservative senator made it into office when then-prime minister John Thompson suddenly died.

Mulcair told CTV's Question Period on Sunday that none of his advisers have suggested to him the beard is an image problem.

He says he has sported the growth since he was an 18-year-old law student at McGill University.

Mulcair says he grew whatever facial hair he could at the time to make himself look older.


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