Lindsay Hoyle calls for review on bringing babies into chamber
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Ms Creasy had said that it “has to be possible for politics and parenting to mix” after she was informed it was against the rules to bring her child to a parliamentary debate on Tuesday. Ms Creasy posted a screenshot on Twitter of an email she had received from the private secretary to the chairman of the ways and means committee, Dame Eleanor Laing, which told the Labour MP for Walthamstow that she had contravened the standards on “behaviour and courtesies” of Westminster Hall.
In the email, Ms Creasy is told that the committee was “made aware that [she] was accompanied by [her] baby in Westminster Hall earlier today”.
The email continues: “I just wanted to make you aware that the recently published Rules of behaviour and courtesies in the House of Commons states that “you should not take your seat in the Chamber when accompanied by a child.”
Scott Benton, Conservative MP for Blackpool South, replied to Ms Creasy’s post condemning the decision on Twitter to criticise her privilege as a member of the Commons.
He responded: “Parents who get paid a fraction of what you do pay for childcare and juggle responsibilities so they can go to work.
“What makes you so special?”
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the Commons, has ordered a review of the rules on children in the House.
He added it was “extremely important” to have an environment in which parents could fully participate in Commons business.
Parliament has an on-site nursery with space for 40 children, available for those requiring childcare who work for the House.
Sir Lindsay continued: “Rules have to be seen in context and they change with the times.”
The Commons Procedure Committee, chaired by Conservative MP Karen Bradley, will “look into this matter”, added the speaker.
Ms Creasy, who was not present to hear Sir Lindsay’s words, reacted saying she was “pleased to hear this.”
Ms Creasy condemned the current rules as “not a system that works for anyone who isn’t a man of a certain age from a certain background”.
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“I don’t have maternity cover – I don’t have the employment rights to have maternity cover”.
She added: “I’ve had a baby, I haven’t given up my brain or capacity to do things and our politics and our policy making will be better by having more mums at the table”.
In an opinion piece published in the Guardian on Thursday, Ms Creasy said: Parliament denied me maternity cover on the basis that democracy demands no one else can substitute for me.
“With little support from the authorities or indeed my own political party, I have worked as best I can while managing the needs of my now 13-week-old son.
“That’s why I was baffled to be told I could not take him into parliament with me.”
Dominic Raab, deputy Prime Minister, expressed “a lot of sympathy” for Ms Creasy’s situation, adding that politicians should ensure “our profession is brought into the modern world.”
This would mean “parents can juggle the jobs they do with the family time they need”, he explained.
He added that a baby in the Commons “certainly wouldn’t distract me or get in the way of me doing my job”, Mr Raab said the decision was up to the House.
A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said that the Prime Minister was all for “further improvements” on a family-friendly Parliament, but reiterated it was a matter for the Commons.
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