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Labour MP told she can’t take breastfeeding baby in to House of Commons

A Labour MP has told how she has been banned from taking her three-month-old baby into the Houses of Commons.

Stella Creasy was told by Parliamentary authorities she was not allowed to take her breastfeeding baby to work with her after he accompanied her to a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday.

The MP has been previously pictured cradling her sleeping child in a sling strapped to her chest as she takes part in parliamentary business.


But following Tuesday’s debate the mother -of-two received an email from the office of the Chairman of Ways and Means – the formal title for Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing – reminding her of the rules which do not permit children in the Commons, which were updated in September.

Posting a photo of the email on twitter, Ms Creasy said: “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 “.

Ms Creasy, who is MP for Walthamstow, said it was “a bit of a mystery’ as to why she had been told off because she had taken her son in before and before him, her daughter when she was a baby.

She told Sky News it an example of how “often if you’re a mum you can’t win”.

Labour MP told she can't take breastfeeding baby in to House of Commons

She said: “I don’t have maternity cover so if I don’t have my child with me and I don’t go in then my residents in Walthamstow don’t get heard.

“But yesterday I was told I’d committed a parliamentary faux-pas in bringing my 13-week-old baby, so he’s very tiny, he doesn’t really do very much, he is quite well behaved.”

In September, Ms Creasy asked Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to ensure new mothers were supported rather than “rebuked” when returning to Parliament – with her newborn son strapped to her.

Mr Rees-Mogg said he thought the rules were “perfectly reasonable and entirely in line with the law”.

Shadow Northern Ireland Minister Alex Davies-Jones offered support for Ms Creasy and branded the rule a “complete contradiction”.

She said: “When I was first elected I was still exclusively breastfeeding my child.

“I met with the [CommonsSpeaker] to discuss this and was assured that if the need arose I would be able to feed my child in the chamber or Westminster Hall.

“This rule is now a complete contradiction.”

MPs are entitled to six months of paid maternity leave and a proxy vote but Ms Creasy has previously spoken out about challenges finding cover for her responsibilities.

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