British House of Commons: Labor politician admonished about baby

Iis the much-quoted “mother of parliaments” – the British House of Commons – hostile to women? This is the question that Labor MP Stella Creasy asked after she was warned by the House of Commons on Tuesday not to bring her baby back into the Chamber. Creasy was all the more surprised that she had taken not only her son but also his sister several times into debates and breastfed there. The statutes officially prohibit this, but no one had protested so far.

The admonition came from a woman, Dame Eleanor Laing, who is knighted and who in turn works for the deputy speaker of parliament. Creasy’s behavior, Laing wrote, was inconsistent with the house rules about “conduct and courtesy.” In the recently revised passages it says: “Anyone who is accompanied by a child should not sit in the chamber or stand on the edge of the chamber.”

The then Libdem MP Jo Swinson was the first woman to open the gate seven years ago. She demanded that women be allowed to bring their babies into debates and received a lot of approval, but also rejection – not only among men. A prominent television journalist referred to Swinson’s advance as “Gaga”. A baby in parliament would keep women from work because mothering is a full-time job, she wrote. Swinson wasn’t convinced, and four years later she was the first MEP to appear in the Chamber with a baby.

Breastfeeding, “if necessary”

Since then, the matter has been handled liberally. Labor MP Alex Davies-Jones assured the BBC that the “Speaker” of the House of Commons had personally assured her that she could breastfeed her baby in the chamber “if necessary”. Justice Minister Dominic Raab, Deputy Prime Minister, also campaigned for pragmatism on Wednesday. He has “a lot of sympathy” for Creasy and thinks it is important “that our profession is brought into the modern world”. A baby in the lower house “would not distract me or get in the way of my work”, said Raab, but conceded to the parliamentary leadership that they had to find “the right balance”.

Creasy supports an initiative called This Mum Votes to help mothers get into politics. On Wednesday she criticized “the system”. As a member of parliament, she is not entitled to maternity leave, which is bad for democracy. “I’m just trying my best to make sure (her constituency) Walthamstow continues to have a vote.” Creasy added, “I have a baby – but it doesn’t lose my brain or my ability to do things, and our policies as well our political decisions would be better if we had more mothers at the table. ”The House of Commons did not want to comment on the Creasy case on Wednesday and let it be known that they were“ in contact ”with the MP.


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