MPs should not bring babies into Commons, says committee | Politics News

MPs should not bring babies into the Commons chamber, despite calls from some politicians, a committee has said.

A row over the rules began last year when Labour MP Stella Creasy was told by an official she should not have taken her three-month-old son into a debate – despite having brought her older daughter into the chamber as a baby.

Other MPs, including former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, have also brought their young children in.

But Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle referred the matter to the Commons’ Procedure Committee to get a final ruling.

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The group of MPs published their conclusions on Thursday, saying banning babies from the Chamber had been a “long-standing practice of the House” and its inquiry had come to the same conclusion.

“Members should not bring babies with them into the Chamber, Westminster Hall or general committees when they are seeking to observe, initiate, speak or intervene in proceedings,” said a committee statement.

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The MPs did say those chairing debates “should retain a degree of de facto discretion” on the matter, but recommended it only be “exercised sparingly”.

And they called on the Liaison Committee to consider if the same rules should be mirrored in select committee proceedings.

The ruling is likely to anger some MPs, who have raised concerns about being able to represent their constituents after giving birth, as they are not entitled to maternity leave.

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‘Politics isn’t set up for parents’

Speaking to Sky News when the row broke out, Ms Creasy said her only option when breastfeeding was to take her baby to work.

She received the support of members from across the House, including Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who said the Commons “needed to make sure that we’re in the 21st Century”.

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