LONDON – A British lawmaker being asked to stop bringing his baby to Parliament is launching a debate on how accessible a career in politics really is to working mothers.
“Mothers throughout Parliament’s mother should not be seen or heard, it seems,” Stella Creasy, a member of the opposition Labor Party, wrote on Tuesday after bringing her son to Westminster Hall, a magnificent building on London’s parliamentary property. , where legislators debate today’s issues.
Creasy posted on Twitter an email she received from Lower House authorities telling her it was not in accordance with current rules to bring her son to the debate.
“We have been made aware that you were accompanied by your baby at Westminster Hall earlier today,” the letter reads. “The recently published Code of Conduct and Courtesy of the House of Commons states that ‘you should not take a seat in the Chamber when accompanied by a child (paragraph 42).'”
The incident has revived the conversation about mothers with young children in British politics – which resulted in the publication of the revision of the rules on Wednesday.
It was unclear what prompted Tuesday’s letter.
“It’s a bit of a mystery to me because I have two children and I’ve taken them both into the chamber earlier, as it’s necessary to make sure my constituents have representation,” Creasy told Sky News.
A spokesman for the House of Commons had no comment on Tuesday when asked what got the email to Creasy. The spokesman added that communication had been communicated with Creasy about the matter.
For years, Creasy has called for changes to the parliamentary rules on maternity leave for members of parliament amid general pressure to make parliament more family-friendly.
In February, Britain introduced its first formal maternity leave for government ministers, but proponents said the government should extend similar leave to all lawmakers with newborns.
On Wednesday, President Sir Lindsay Hoyle told the Commons that he had asked for a review of the current rules for bringing babies into parliament, saying “rules need to be seen in context and they change over time.”
Another female Member of Parliament, Alex Davies-Jones, tweeted that she was previously assured by Hoyle that she could breastfeed her baby in the chamber if she needed to, and was “hugely concerned” about what happened to Creasy.
Caroline Lucas, a Green MP, too said on Twitter that the rules on children in the Folketing were “absurd” and must be challenged.
Creasy was not met with universal support on social media, with some users telling her that she should have a nanny and that Parliament was not an appropriate environment for a baby.
In countries where it is allowed, a number of female politicians have done much to bring their children to work.
In 2017, Australian Senator Larissa Waters became the first politician to breastfeed in the country’s parliament. A year later, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden became the first female world leader to bring her infant to the UN General Assembly.
That same year, Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Made history in the United States by bringing her 10-day-old newborn with her to vote one day after the Senate voted to allow babies on the chamber floor.
Reuters the contribution.