Social media uproar after UK MP asked not to bring baby to House of Commons

The Labour Party MP was told that she could not bring her child to the House of Commons Chamber as it was against the rules of behaviour and courtesies of the House

File image of MP for the London constituency of Walthamstow Stella Creasy. News18

A UK politician has demanded reforms in the rule book of the British Parliament, after she was asked not to bring her three-month-old baby into the House of Commons.

Stella Creasy, a legislator of the Labour Party, tweeted on 24 November that she had received an email from the House of Commons authorities, telling her that she could not bring her child in the Chamber as it goes against the rules of behavior and courtesies in the House.

Creasy posted the letter in the tweet and wrote, “Apparently the Parliament has written a rule which means I can’t take my well behaved, 3-month old sleeping baby when I speak in the chamber”. She added that mothers are not to be seen or heard in the “mother of all parliament”.

The legislator has appeared with her son at the adjoining Westminster Hall on 23 November. She would also nurse her son regularly and she has earlier also taken her daughter to the House of Commons chamber.

According to reports, she received the letter as the rules had been changed recently. The rule book was last updated in September and was issued by the speaker and deputy speakers and applies to the Chamber of House of Commons

Creasy has been calling for changes in the parliamentary rule book for quite some time. The MP’s call for change is to make the Parliament more family-friendly and revise maternity leaves for members.

The Labour party legislator said that the system did work for anyone who was not a man and she said that having no maternity cover and employment rights was a bad situation for democracy.

The Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said on Wednesday that a review of the current rules on not bringing babies to the Parliament has been ordered. He also said that rules should change with the changing times.

Creasy’s tweet has also sparked a debate around access to child care facilities, especially for working mothers and politicians.

MP Alex Davies-Jones tweeted that she was also breastfeeding when she was elected for the first time and was assured by Hoyle that she could breastfeed in the chamber of Westminster Hall:

Co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas, also tweeted in solidarity, writing that the rules were absolutely absurd and had to be challenged.

Columnist and writer Hannah Fearn also extended her support saying that women should no longer tolerate the silencing of motherhood.

Here are some other tweets that expressed solidarity:

Several users applauded Creasy for her stance and said they supported her.

Many users were angry that rules still forced women to choose between family life and career:

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