Politics

Anger as Labour MP Stella Creasy told off for bringing baby into the Commons


Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy said it was an example of how ‘often if you’re a mum you can’t win’

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Stella Creasy addresses not having maternity cover

A Labour MP has expressed anger after being told off for bringing her three-month-old baby into the Commons.

Stella Creasy said she was told by the parliamentary authorities that she was not allowed to have brought her young son with her during a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday.

She posted a photo on Twitter of an email from the office of the Chairman of Ways and Means – the formal title for Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing – reminding her of the rules, which were updated in September.

Ms Creasy said: “Apparently Parliament has written a rule which means I can’t take my well behaved, 3-month old, sleeping baby when I speak in chamber. (Still no rule on wearing masks btw).

“Mothers in the mother of all parliament are not to be seen or heard it seems…. #21stCenturyCalling “.








Labour MP Stella Creasy
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Image:

Getty Images)



The Walthamstow MP said it was a “bit of mystery” why she had been reprimanded as she has previously taken both of her children into the Commons.

She told Sky News: “I don’t have maternity cover so if I don’t have my child with me and I don’t go in then my residents in Walthamstow don’t get heard.

“But yesterday I was told I’d committed a parliamentary faux-pas in bringing my 13-week-old baby, so he’s very tiny, he doesn’t really do very much, he is quite well behaved.”

Ms Creasy said it was an example of how “often if you’re a mum you can’t win”.

In September, she asked Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to ensure new mothers were supported rather than “rebuked” when returning to Parliament – with her newborn baby strapped to her.

Mr Rees-Mogg said in response he thought the rules were “perfectly reasonable and entirely in line with the law”.

Shadow Northern Ireland Minister Alex Davies-Jones offered support for Ms Creasy and branded the rule a “complete contradiction”.

She said: “When I was first elected I was still exclusively breastfeeding my child.

“I met with the [CommonsSpeaker] to discuss this and was assured that if the need arose I would be able to feed my child in the chamber or Westminster Hall.

“This rule is now a complete contradiction.”

MPs are entitled to six months of paid maternity leave and a proxy vote but Ms Creasy has previously spoken out about challenges finding cover for her responsibilities.

A House of Commons spokesperson said: “It is vital that all democratically elected MPs are able to carry out their duties in and around Parliament.

“Members can at any time consult with the Speaker, Deputy Speakers, Clerks and Doorkeepers about their requirements while in the Chamber or in Westminster Hall at any time.

“We are currently in communication with Stella Creasy about this matter.”


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