Wed, 26 Jan 2022

National debate begins as UK MP brings infant to parliament

Robert Besser
29 Nov 2021, 03:12 GMT+10

LONDON, England: After being notified that she cannot be seated in the UK Parliament with her three month-old son, Member of Parliament Stella Creasy was quick to make a cutting retort, that it "has to be possible for politics and parenting to mix".

Creasy, from the Labour Party, was advised that she had violated parliamentary rules by bringing along an infant to a Westminster Hall debate on November 23.

Meanwhile, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the UK House of Commons speaker, urged members of Parliament to conduct an evaluation of the rules.

Scott Lloyd Benton, a politician of the Conservative Party, criticized Creasy, tweeting, "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?"

Hoyle, in his address to the Commons, stressed the importance of full participation of parents in the House's work, since a nursery facility was already available to House of Commons' members.

"Rules have to be seen in context and they change with the times," the speaker noted in the House.

Hoyle called upon the House of Commons Select Committee on Procedure, presided over by Conservative Party Karen Bradley, to review House rules regarding infants.

In conversation with the BBC, Creasy recalled having brought along her breastfed infant on a regular basis and prior to that her little girl into the Lower House.

Deputy PM Dominic Raab was empathetic towards Creasy, while emphasizing the need for political figures to ensure that "our profession is brought into the modern world, (so) parents can juggle the jobs they do with the family time they need."

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