Sorry Stella, but MPs have it much easier than most mums

capx.co
4 min read
fairly easy
There won't be any winners from Stella Creasy's battle to bring her baby into the House of Commons. Not a Parliament now held in contempt by much of the British public. Not the Walthamstow MP, whose demand, once you scratch beneath the surface, has the distinct whiff of cakeism. And probably not any innocent brought […]
There won't be any winners from Stella Creasy's battle to bring her baby into the House of Commons. Not a Parliament now held in contempt by much of the British public. Not the Walthamstow MP, whose demand, once you scratch beneath the surface, has the distinct whiff of cakeism. And probably not any innocent brought into what most perceive to be a den of iniquity and toxicity.

Creasy has been told that, according to updated parliamentary rules on 'behaviour and courtesies,' she cannot bring her three-month old son with her when she sits in the Commons. The Labour MP quickly took to Twitter, where she posted: 'Mothers in the mother of all parliament [sic] are not to be seen or heard it seems'. And the social media mob duly played their part, with Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle today announcing that the chair of the cross-party Procedures Committee will be looking into the matter.

With women making up 34% of MPs, there probably is a case for addressing the barriers that prevent more coming forward. As Isabel Hardman wrote in Why we get the Wrong Politicians, the cost of standing for Parliament makes it a pipe dream for large sections of society, and culturally women seem to be encouraged less to take the financial risks that men do in order to become MPs.

These are genuine issues that need addressing. But the idea that motherhood itself is an obstacle to running for office – or that 'politics and parenting don't mix' as Creasy put it – is a stretch. Parliament provides paid maternity leave for six months and a proxy vote. As Hoyle pointed out, there's a nursery on site designed to enable parents to…
Annabel Denham
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