DEBATE – In session in the British Parliament with her 3-month-old baby, a Labor MP has been called to order. But in the face of criticism, the institution said on Wednesday that it wanted to review the rules.
LCI editorial staff –
Her baby, Pip, was quietly asleep to participate in the debates, but that didn’t help everyone. Coming to Parliament with her three-month-old baby on Tuesday, British MP Stella Creasy was called to order by an official email which was sent directly to her.
In the UK, it is officially forbidden to take your child to the House of Commons. Faced with criticism, the institution finally promised on Wednesday to review its rules imposed on elected officials becoming parents.
No real maternity leave for parliamentarians
Judging “Extremely important” that young parents can fully participate in parliamentary work, House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said “the rules must be seen in their context” and that they “change over time”. He announced that a commission would examine the matter so that “the Chamber can finally decide”. At Times Radio, Stella Creasy spoke “happy” promised changes.
If it has received a lot of support, there are however “divergent points of view” on the matter, as pointed out by the Speaker of the House. “Parents who get paid a fraction of what you earn pay for child care and juggle responsibilities so they can go to work. What makes you so special?” curator Scott Benton asked on Twitter.
“We don’t have maternity leave to be able to juggle, so I have to take my baby with me”, replies the member. Parliamentarians do not have real maternity leave, since they do not have the right – unlike ministers since February – to have someone replace them during their six-month leave. If I didn’t come with my baby “the inhabitants of (my constituency) would be deprived of any representation if I stopped working”, she said in the Guardian, believing that a “three month old baby is too young to be left alone”.
The example of other countries
Last year, the Speaker of the House of Commons allowed MP Alex Davies-Jones to come with her baby. Stella Creasy herself, who has long campaigned for a better inclusion of mothers in politics, had already come with her son or previously her daughter. She had thus appeared in the House of Commons at the end of September with her newborn baby to demand that mothers be supported rather than “reprimanded” when they returned to Parliament.
- VIDEO – MP in Iceland breastfeeds baby in parliament gallery
“Other countries show that it should not be so”, underlines Stella Creasy on the social network, inviting those who wish to join the project This mum votes “so that politics and parenthood can mix” and helping young mothers run for office. In 2018, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became a symbol of working mothers by bringing her baby Neve to the UN General Assembly in New York. In 2016, a member of parliament also breastfed her daughter in the middle of a parliamentary session in Iceland. If the scene had challenged outside the borders, making the rounds of the international media, it was received without surprise in the country.
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