British MP told she cannot sit in Commons with baby son
She said the current situation doesn't serve "anyone who isn't a man of a certain age from a certain background".
A British MP has been told she cannot take her seat in Chamber whilst accompanied by her three-month-old son.
Labour's Stella Creasy said it "has to be possible for politics and parenting to mix" after being informed that bringing a child is against parliamentary rules after she brought her baby boy to a debate at Westminster Hall on Tuesday.
The rule applies to the chamber of the House of Commons and Westminster Hall.
Creasy said this was "news to me" after regularly attending debates with her newborn baby son, who she is breastfeeding, and her baby daughter in years prior.
After bringing her son to Westminster Hall on Tuesday, the MP received an email from the private secretary to the chairman of the Ways and Means committee, stating this was against recently published rules on "behaviour and courtesies".
She posted a screenshot of the email to Twitter, writing: "Mothers in the mother of all parliaments are not to be seen or heard it seems..."
Apparently Parliament has written a rule which means I can’t take my well behaved, 3-month old, sleeping baby when I speak in chamber. (Still no rule on wearing masks btw).
Mothers in the mother of all parliament are not to be seen or heard it seems….#21stCenturyCalling pic.twitter.com/rKB7WbYQrL
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) November 23, 2021
The House of Commons has said it was "in communication" with Creasy, who has called for a review.
While most mums of any profession are expected not to bring their children to work, maternity leave is a complex issue for women in British politics. Though they are entitled to paid maternity leave for six months and a proxy vote, MPs are expected to be physically present at Westminster to represent their constituents.
Some MPs have also highlighted the difficulty in obtaining the funds for adequate maternity cover.
Creasy told BBC News that this is "not a system that works for anyone who isn't a man of a certain age from a certain background".
"I don't have maternity cover - I don't have the employment rights to have maternity cover," she said, adding that the current situation is "bad for our democracy".
"I've had a baby, I haven't given up my brain or capacity to do things and our politics and our policy making will be better by having more mums at the table," she added.