No babies allowed in Commons, MP Stella Creasy told

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An MP has said it “has to be possible for politics and parenting to mix” after being told she cannot sit in the Commons with her three-month-old son.

Labour’s Stella Creasy was informed it was against the rules to bring a child to a debate at Westminster Hall after doing so on Tuesday.

She said this was “news to me” after attending debates with a baby in the past and called for a review.

The House of Commons said it was “in communication” with Ms Creasy.

Ms Creasy told the BBC she had regularly taken her son – who she is breastfeeding – and before him her daughter, into the Commons chamber.

But after appearing with her son at the adjoining Westminster Hall on Tuesday, she received an email from the private secretary to the chairman of the Ways and Means committee, Dame Eleanor Laing, which said this was not in line with recently published rules on “behaviour and courtesies”.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said he had “a lot of sympathy” for the Walthamstow MP, and politicians needed to make sure “our profession is brought into the modern world… [so] parents can juggle the jobs they do with the family time they need”.

But, while saying a baby in the Commons “certainly wouldn’t distract me or get in the way of me doing my job”, Mr Raab said it was for the House authorities to decide the “right balance”.

The Labour MP – who is encouraging more mothers to enter politics through a campaign called This Mum Votes – shared the email she was sent on Twitter, writing: “Mothers in the mother of all parliaments are not to be seen or heard it seems…”

The rule book, which was issued by the speaker and deputy speakers and applies to the chamber of the House of Commons and Westminster Hall, was updated in September.

It says: “You should not take your seat in the chamber when accompanied by your child, nor stand at either end of the Chamber, between divisions.” The same wording was also used in a previous version of the rule book.

But another MP, Alex Davies-Jones, said she had been assured by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle that if she needed to breastfeed her child in the chamber she could do so.

Ms Creasy said this was “not a system that works for anyone who isn’t a man of a certain age from a certain background”.

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