British MP Stella Creasy said she would stop bringing her baby to Parliament

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LONDON – A British lawmaker is urged to stop bringing his baby to Parliament launching a debate on how accessible a career in politics really is for working mothers.

“Mothers throughout Parliament’s mother are not allowed to be seen or heard,” Stella Creasy, a member of the opposition Labor Party, wrote on Tuesday after taking her son to Westminster Hall, a grand building on Parliament’s estate in London. legislators discuss today’s issues.

Creasy posted on Twitter an e-mail she received from the lower house authorities and told her that it was not in line with the current rules to bring her son to the debate.

“We have become aware that you were accompanied by your child to Westminster Hall earlier today,” the letter said. “The recently published rules of conduct and courtesy in the House of Commons state that ‘you should not take a seat in the House when accompanied by a child (paragraph 42).'”

The incident has reopened the conversation about mothers with young children in British politics – which resulted in the announcement of the review 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 earlier in the House because the needs are there to make sure my constituents are represented,” Creasy told Sky News.

A spokesman for the lower house had no comments on Tuesday when he was asked what prompted the email to Creasy. The spokesman added that communication had been made with Creasy on the matter.

Creasy has been demanding changes to parliamentary rules on maternity leave for MEPs for several years in the midst of a general push to make Parliament more family-friendly.

In February, Britain introduced its first formal maternity leave for government ministers, but activists said the government should extend similar leave to all legislators with newborns.

Stella Creasy, who was seen here with her first child in 2019, was not met by universal support on social media, where some users said that Parliament was not a suitable place for a baby. John Sibley / Reuters fil

On Wednesday, President Sir Lindsay Hoyle told the Commons that he had asked for a review of the current rules for bringing children into Parliament, saying that “the rules must be seen in context and they change over time.”

Another female Member of Parliament, Alex Davies-Jones, twittrade that she had previously been assured by Hoyle that she could breastfeed her baby in the house if she needed to, and was “very worried” about what would happen to Creasy.

Caroline Lucas, a Green MP, too said on Twitter that the rules on children in Parliament were “absurd” and must be questioned.

Creasy was not met with universal support on social media, where some users told her to get a nanny and that Parliament was not a suitable environment for a baby.

In countries where it is allowed, a number of women politicians have made a point of taking their children to work.

In 2017, Australian Senator Larissa Waters became the first politician to breastfeed in the country’s parliament. One year later, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden became the first female world leader to take her infant to the UN General Assembly.

That same year, Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., made history in the United States by bringing his 10-day-old newborn to vote one day after the Senate voted to allow babies on the floor of the House.

Reuters contributed.

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