By Laura Harman
Labour MP Stella Creasy has sparked a debate about working mothers bringing their babies to work after she received a letter stating that Parliamentary rules dictate she should find childcare.
On Twitter, the Labour MP posted a letter that she received about bringing her son into the House of Commons. In the letter, a parliamentary rule highlighted explained, "you should not take your seat in the chamber when accompanied by a child."
The MP captioned the image of this letter, "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"
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/rKB7WbYQrLNovember 23, 2021
This letter has since sparked a public debate about whether working mothers should be allowed to bring their child to work or whether they should instead use child carers or stay at home themselves.
Former Scottish parliament MP Ruth Davidson weighed in on the debate to support Stella and suggest that her decision to bring her baby to the Commons was justified.
"If it helps to know how other parliaments around the UK operate, @stellacreasy before I came back to work, the chief exec & PO got in touch to ask what I needed (I got a fridge for my office for storing breast milk) & to reassure me Finn was welcome on the estate & in the chamber," said Ruth. However, others were less than impressed.
"Does any other mother take their baby into their workplace every day?! The absurd sense of entitlement of this MP astounds me," said Journalist and broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer. "Why doesn't @stellacreasy go and enjoy her maternity leave with her baby - she's lucky enough to be on full pay and I'm sure her baby would prefer it."
Stella later appeared on LBC and discussed this issue further with James O'Brien. In the interview, Stella said, "We have a system that was built for men of a certain age with independent means—and that's not the majority of the British population."
Stella also explained to the presenter, "My son is 13 weeks old, is in need of feeding regularly, and therefore it's not really practical to leave him for a length of time anywhere else."
'We have a system that was built for men of a certain age with independent means - and that's not the majority of the British population.'Labour MP Stella Creasy speaks to James O'Brien after she was told she cannot bring her baby to the Commons.@mrjamesob | @stellacreasy pic.twitter.com/ULO9IcWFmGNovember 24, 2021
In light of this topic being raised on a larger platform, Stella has urged those who agree with her to change the policies for working mums.
Stella said, "Other countries show it doesn’t have to be this way - If you want things to change so politics and parenting can mix, please join our project to help directly support mums of young children to stand for office—sign up here at http://thismumvotes.org.uk"
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