The UK Parliament has passed a rule prohibiting a member of parliament from bringing her three-month-old baby to work.
A British legislator was told she couldn’t bring her 3-month-old to Parliament, sparking a debate about what it means to be a working mother in politics.
Stella Creasy, a Labour Party member of Parliament, said she got an email on Tuesday accusing her of breaking House of Commons standards of etiquette and courtesies, which indicate that “you should not take your seat in the Chamber when accompanied by a child.”
In a Tweet, Creasy stated, “Apparently Parliament has drafted a rule that says I can’t take my well behaved, 3-month old, sleeping infant when I speak in chamber.” In Parliament, she pointed out, there are still no restrictions about wearing masks.
“It appears that mothers in the mother of all legislatures are not to be seen or heard,” she continued.
Creasy has been pushing for reforms to parliamentary regulations regarding maternity leave for MPs for years, according to NBC News, as part of a larger drive to make Parliament more family-friendly.
“I can’t really leave my 13-week-old boy alone, and I don’t have any maternity coverage. So I’m not sure how I’m going to win this “On Wednesday, Creasy told BBC News.
Given what occurred to Creasy, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has requested the Commons Procedure Committee to review the present regulations on bringing babies into Parliament on Wednesday.
“Rules must be understood in context, and they evolve with the times,” Hoyle told PA Media.
On Twitter, Creasy received support from two other MPs.
“I was still exclusively breastfeeding my child when I was first elected.” MP Alex Davies-Jones said, “I spoke with [Hoyle] to discuss this and was promised that if the need arose, I would be able to nurse my infant in the chamber or Westminster Hall.”
Meanwhile, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas described the verdict as “absurd,” noting that babies are “much less disruptive” than many braying backbenchers.
A spokeswoman for the House of Commons confirmed that they are communicating with Creasy personally, although it’s unclear what triggered Tuesday’s letter, given that Creasy has previously taken her first kid to work when he was smaller.