A DRESS code has been issued to Glasgow councillors in wake of the killing of MP Jo Cox which aims to ensure their fashion sense does not "give rise to misunderstanding".

In a circular to all elected members, officials have also warned against clothing which could be deemed "culturally sensitive", advises councillors to make use of chaperones on ward business and gives instructions on how to recognise signs they could be in danger.

But the advice, which the authority said was guided by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, has already sparked a backlash from some councillors.

Cllr Emma Gillan, a member of the Labour administration, said she was "dismayed" by the sartorial advice.

"Should we expect to be blamed for any attack on our personal safety if we are not wearing a business suit?" she replied in response to the guidelines.

"The requirement to have a volunteer chaperone is something which will be difficult for many to organise, can we expect assistance from our group offices to coordinate?"

The details have come to light after it emerged panic alarms which carry GPS tracking devices are to be issued to each of East Lothian's 23 councillors.

It followed a recent public meeting in the area and attended by two of the councillors which had to be abandoned because of a disruptive attendee.

As well as the killing of Ms Cox in June and the attempted murder of Stephen Timms MP at his constituency office in 2010, an incident two years ago when a man entered Glasgow City Chambers with a knife and asked to meet with the former leader Gordon Matheson is understood to have been considered when the safety guidance was issued.

A five-page document states: "Present yourself appropriately in various contexts (e.g. dress). A person's dress and appearance are a matter of personal choice and self-expression.

"However you should, in a professional setting ensure that your form of dress does not distract, cause embarrassment or give rise to misunderstanding; is absent of any political or otherwise contentious slogans; is not considered to be discriminatory and is culturally sensitive."

The email to all 79 councillors suggests that a cross-party forum of elected members approved the revised guidance, adding: "It has also been prompted by the very recent and tragic attack on Jo Cox MP in June of this year."

It states that the nature of a councillors business means they often " have to meet and deal with people who may, for a variety of reasons, be in a highly charged emotional state", urges them to ensure their seat is nearest a door when conducting surgeries or on a home visit and to clear away any potential weapons which could be used against them before meeting constituents.

It advises against "observable patterns of behaviour...give out calming signals.....and avoid threatening actions such as staring and finger pointing".

But one senior source said: "Maybe the council would have been better off just advising councillors to use their common sense. We don't need to know how to dress and asking politicians not to have anything politically symbolic on them is ludicrous.

"The people who drafted this are maybe a bit out of touch with reality."

A council spokesman said: “This was an updated version of advice provided to councillors in 2012.

“The section on dress was used only to provide some professional guidance and was not intended to cause any offence.”