MPs barred from bringing their babies to debate

The decision sparked a debate about whether the work culture in Parliament act as a deterrent to some potential candidates, especially female mothers.

In recent years, discussions have not only addressed the compatibility of the parliamentary position with fatherhood, but also the longstanding issues of sexual harassment and diversity.

“(Parliament) members may not bring infants into House, Westminster Hall or general committees to observe, initiate, speak or intervene in proceedings,” it said. Commons Procedure Committee.

The review acknowledges that the babies have previously been brought into the UK debate room without causing any discomfort, but that existing rules must apply.

The recommendation puts England out of step with modernization at another place. While some other legislatures still don’t allow babies in, others, like New Zealand you Australiahas changed the rules to allow MPs to feed babies in debate rooms.

The committee recommendation came after review request from House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle after MP Stella Creasy was told in November 2021 that it was against the rules to bring her baby to debate in parliament.

Responding to the committee’s latest proposal on rules, Creasy said: “I’m not surprised they don’t recognize who parliament has suspended because of its archaic rules and focus on women with children and the need to modernize.”

“This committee has not spoken to anyone outside parliament although many of us encourage them to do so,” Creasy said in a statement.

Prime Minister’s Spokesperson Boris Johnson He said the government is committed to an inclusive parliament, but rules are a matter of parliamentary authority.

As of 2016, Australian MPs’ babies are no longer considered visitors, and as such are not barred from parliamentary chambers. In New Zealand, regulations were relaxed in 2017 to allow mothers to bring their babies into debate rooms to feed them.

Elena Eland

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