Labour MP is ‘BANNED from bringing newborn baby into Commons’: Furious Stella Creasy hits out at official House of Commons email telling her ‘not to take seat when accompanied by child’
- Ms Creasy tweeted a photograph of an email sent to her by Commons authorities
- Reminded her she could not take seat in Commons when accompanied by child
- Private Secretary telling Ms Creasy this also applies to Westminster Hall.
Labour MP Stella Creasy has called for change and insisted ‘politics and parenting can mix’ after being told her three-month-old son was no longer allowed in the Commons.
Ms Creasy tweeted a photograph of an email addressed to her apparently from the Private Secretary to the Chairman of Ways and Means reminding her of the Rules of behaviour and courtesies in the House of Commons, which were updated in early September.
Paragraph 42 of the Rules states an MP ‘should not take your seat in the Chamber when accompanied by a child’, with the Private Secretary telling Ms Creasy this also applies to Westminster Hall.
Ms Creasy tweeted a photograph of an email addressed to her apparently from the Private Secretary to the Chairman of Ways and Means reminding her she could
The email came following the Walthamstow MP’s appearance in the Hall yesterday with her three-month-old son, who is breastfeeding.
‘Mothers in the mother of all parliament are not to be seen or heard it seems…. #21stCenturyCalling,’ Ms Creasy posted with the photographed email on Tuesday afternoon.
In a separate post, Ms Creasy urged support for an campaign to get more mothers involved in politics.
‘Other countries show it doesn’t have to be this way – If you want things to change so politics and parenting can mix, please join our project to help directly support mums of young children to stand for office.’
The BBC cited the House of Commons as saying it was ‘in communication’ with Ms Creasy.
This morning Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said he has ‘a lot of sympathy’ for Mr Creasy, telling BBC Breakfast: ‘Quite what the right balance is in terms of the chamber, let me leave that to the House authorities but frankly I’ve got a lot of sympathy for Stella Creasy on all of these things because I’ve seen her with her young child, I’ve seen many other MPs on all sides of the House balancing this, and it’s difficult.
‘I think we do need to make sure our profession is brought into the modern world, the 21st century, and can allow parents to juggle the jobs they do with the family time that they need.’
He said he is a ‘sucker for young kids’ and he would not be bothered giving a speech at the despatch box in their presence, adding: ‘When you see your colleagues with their children, given the rough and tumble of politics, I just always think it brings out the best in people.
‘Whether it’s the right thing in the chamber, there will be different views on that, it will be for the House authorities to decide but it certainly wouldn’t distract me or get in the way of me doing my job.’
In late September, Ms Creasy’s then-newborn was strapped to her as she rose in the chamber to ask Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to ensure new mothers were supported rather than ‘rebuked’ when returning to Parliament.
Ms Creasy with her newborn in September during a debate where she demanded new mothers were ‘supported’ by Parliament
Mr Rees-Mogg said in response he thought the rules were ‘perfectly reasonable and entirely in line with the law’.
Ms Creasy had regularly taken her son and previously her daughter into the Commons chamber.
Neither child had been held by the Speaker, however, unlike in New Zealand in 2019.
Speaker Trevor Mallard attracted global fame as a so-called ‘baby whisperer’ after helping to soothe a colleague’s infant – including rocking, bottle feeding and burping the child – during a debate in the chamber in Wellington.
A year earlier, the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern became the first world leader to take their baby on to the floor of the UN General Assembly.
Ms Creasy has brought her daughter to the Commons in previous years