Politics Explained

What are the rules about bringing babies into the House of Commons?

England might be the mother of parliaments but we need to make sure that mothers – and fathers – can participate in politics without hindrance, writes Sean O’Grady

Wednesday 24 November 2021 22:03
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Mr Speaker Hoyle, with a deft touch, burped the baby and took the wind out of what might have escalated into quite a tantrum between parliamentarians about bringing babies into the chamber.

Stella Creasy, Labour member for Walthamstow, has raised the issue, having been told off by the Commons authorities for taking her infant son Pip (all of 13 weeks) into a debate in Westminster Hall, which is like a more sedate version of the chamber itself at its calmest. Apart from asserting the rights of women, Creasy was also puzzled because she herself is among several female members – notably Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson some years back – who have previously been seen in the chamber with their new bairns, and nobody has objected before.

Both Ms Creasy and Tory MP Kemi Badenoch had their babes with them when they took their oaths as freshly elected members. The speaker himself, he told the house, was not privy to the advice given to Ms Creasy.

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