Stella Creasy: Labor MP was told she had brought a little son to the Commons

Two side-by-side photos showing Stella Creasy, a white woman with short blond hair, in the House of Commons carrying her baby in a gray sling in front of her.

Mrs Creasy previously brought her son Pip into the Commons in September when she asked leader Jacob Rees-Mogg for support for MPs who are also mothers (Photo: PA)

Labor MP Stella Creasy has insisted that ‘politics and parenthood can be mixed’ after being told she could no longer bring her three-month-old son to the Commons.

The mother of two, representing Walthamstow, shared an email from an official who was sent after taking her baby Pip to a debate yesterday.

The private secretary, who supports Vice President Eleanor Laing, wrote to Mrs Creasy: ‘We have been made aware that you were accompanied by your baby in Westminster Hall earlier today.

‘I just wanted to make you aware that the recently published rules of conduct and courtesy in the House of Commons say that “You should not take a seat in the Chamber when accompanied by a child” (paragraph 42).’

They added that the rules – updated in September – extend to debates held in Westminster Hall.

Chairman Lindsay Hoyle has now asked the Commons Procedure Committee to investigate the rules around bringing babies into the house in response to the question.

Mrs Creasy previously brought her son to the Chamber two months ago when she claimed she had to give up her “baby proxy leave vote or be reprimanded” to speak.

The politician also told Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg that the independent parliamentary standardization authority refused to fund maternity coverage for her because ‘people needed to be able to speak in the hall’.

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The Walthamstow MP is the mother of two who gave birth to a baby boy Pip earlier this year (Photo: British Parliament)

Ms Creasy yesterday opened a debate on the regulation of financial products on Black Friday, where it was observed that her son Pip had been ‘as good as gold’ during the case.

She addressed the private secretary’s email later that day in an online post with the hashtag ‘# 21stCenturyCalling’.

MP wrote: ‘Apparently Parliament has written a rule that means I can not take my well-behaved, three-month-old, sleeping baby when I speak in [the] chamber.

‘Mothers in the mother of all parliaments should not be seen or heard, it seems …’

Ms. Creasy continued to instruct her followers to participate in the This Mum Votes project, which supports mothers of young children to run for public office.

She added: ‘Other countries show that it does not have to be this way.’

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern brought her little daughter to the UN in 2018, where she gave her first speech to the General Assembly.

A year later, the country’s Speaker Trevor Mallard went viral after being filmed rocking a Member of Parliament’s baby boy during a debate.

Other MPs have since thrown their support behind Mrs Creasy, with Green MP Caroline Lucas describing the rule as ‘absurd’ and one that ‘absolutely must be challenged’.

She added that babies are ‘far less disruptive than many humble backers’.

MPs who have taken their babies to work

  • March 2009: The Danish MEP Hanne Dahl is seen with her baby in the European Parliament.
  • September 2010: Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli took her seven-week-old daughter to Strasbourg
  • May 2017: Larissa Waters became the first senator to breastfeed in Australia’s Parliament.
  • August 2018: German MP Madeleine Henfling was asked to leave Thuringia’s state parliament after bringing her child to the floor.
  • September 2018: Former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson rocked his son in the back seats of the Commons, in what is believed to be the first case of a Member of Parliament taking their MP into the Chamber.
  • March 2019: Member of Parliament Mette Abildgaard brought her five-month-old daughter into the chamber before she was told to remove her.
  • December 2019: Conservative MP Kemi Badenoch joined Mrs Creasy in carrying her baby into the Commons while being sworn in.

Alex Davies-Jones, Labor MP for Pontypridd, described it as a ‘complete contradiction’. She had previously been told by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle that she could breastfeed in the chamber.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said he has ‘a lot of sympathy’ for Mrs Creasy, but stressed that the decision is a decision to be made by the House authorities.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘I think we need to ensure that our profession is brought into the modern world, the 21st century, and can allow parents to juggle the jobs they do, with that family time, They need.

REFILE - CORRECTIVE ACTION New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her baby Neve in the General Assembly Hall at Nelson Mandela's Peace Summit during the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York, USA, September 24, 2018. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, took her child to the UN General Assembly in 2018 (Photo: Reuters)
Pictures of New Zealand Speaker Trevor Mallard holding a colleague’s baby during a debate went viral in 2019 (Photo: PA)

‘When you see your colleagues with their children being hit by politics, I just always think it brings out the best in people.

‘Whether it is the right thing in the Chamber, there will be different views on it, it will be up to the House authorities to decide, but it would certainly not distract me or stand in the way of me doing my job.’

A spokesman for the House of Commons has said that the authorities ‘are currently in communication’ with Mrs Creasy.

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