Stella Creasy: Parliament to review rules on babies after MP told off

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Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle has ordered a review of whether MPs can bring children and very young children into Parliament during debate.

The move comes after Labor MP Stella Crissy received warnings from parliamentary officials after bringing her 13-week-old son, Pip, into the Westminster Hall chamber.

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Parliamentary rules allow MPs to take children or children into the House while voting, but not while participating in debates.

Sir Lindsay said the warning issued to Ms Creesy by the Chair of Parliament’s Ways and Means Dame Eleanor Ling, correctly reflected the current rules, but it was “extremely important” that parents be fully involved in parliamentary work. were able to participate.

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“The rules have to be seen in context and they change over time,” he said in a statement to lawmakers when he opened the Commons on Wednesday morning.

“This House should be able to function professionally and without disturbance. However, there may be occasions when the Chair may exercise discretion, assuming the business is not to be interrupted.

“I acknowledge that there are differing views on the matter.”

Stella Creasy’s collection asking a question in the House of Commons with her newborn son

She added that Parliament’s Committee of Procedures chair Karen Bradley would review the matter and bring forward recommendations that would be “finally for the House to consider”.

Ms. Cressey says she has to bring her child to the Commons because she has no childcare. Following Sir Lindsay’s statement, he tweeted: “Glad to hear it – fwiw currently can’t be in the chamber for statement on proxy voting scheme because the rules say I have to leave anyway due to child leave(!) Not allowed, but hopefully it means some of these rules will be reviewed to make it possible to mix parenting and politics!”

Earlier she told Sky News that the rules are making it difficult for mothers to pursue a political career.

“We’re losing people not because of their skills or experiences but because they haven’t built a way to make the system work for people who are not men of a certain age with independent means,” she said.

On the alert, Ms Cressey, who also has a daughter, Hetty, said: “It’s a bit of a mystery. I have two kids and I took them both to the chamber to make sure my constituents are represented, as I don’t have maternity cover… – old kid… he doesn’t do much, that much Well behaved, even Jacob Rees-Mogg admits that, perhaps, some of my colleagues are noisier than him.

Lib Dem MP Munira Wilson tweeted her support, saying: “Unbelievable. Hi. We are in 2021, not 1821.”

The warning appears to represent a change by Parliament officials.

In September, Pip was accompanied by Ms Creesy when she asked Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, to ensure that new mothers are supported when they return to Parliament.

A spokesperson for the Commons said on Wednesday: “It is important that all democratically elected MPs are able to perform their duties in and around Parliament. Members may consult with the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Clerk and Concierge regarding their needs in the Chamber or Westminster Hall at any time.

“We are in communication with Stella Creasy regarding this matter.”

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: “Frankly, I have a lot of sympathy for Stella Cressey … we need to make sure that our profession is brought into the modern world.”

Mr Rees-Mogg responded that he felt the rules were “totally reasonable and completely in line with the law”.

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