New baby for the Mother of Parliaments

The Labour media machine might be taking a breather after its election push but it was back on prolific form yesterday when it seized on a photo opportunity with one of its new MPs.

A press release headlined "New Labour, New Baby" announced the news that Ruth Kelly, MP for Bolton West, had given birth to a son, just a month after winning her seat. Ms Kelly had the baby on Monday night at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

The Health Minister Tessa Jowell was first to send a congratulatory note to her on "another New Labour gain" and said the birth gave a bold and positive message to Britain's women. "Ruth will be a great inspiration to other young mothers and I am sure that she will remember that it is only to our children that we are irreplaceable."

"Around the House of Commons, Ruth will be neither short of advice nor willing arms to hold the baby. A baby around the House will be a great force for modernising the Palace of Westminster," she added.

Labour's latest recruit weighed in at 7lbs 11ozs and a spokesman for the Royal London said both mother and baby (above) were doing well. Ms Kelly and her husband Derek have named their first child Eamonn Frederick Gadd.

Ms Kelly is not the first woman to give birth while an MP. Among others is the former nationalist MP Bernadette Devlin, whose daughter Roisin McAliskey - on remand in connection with an IRA attack on a British barracks in Osnabruck, Germany, last summer - herself gave birth on Monday.

Ms Kelly is known as a high-flier, having previously worked at the Bank of England and the Guardian newspaper.