Several British politicians on Wednesday called for a change in parliamentary rules, after a lawmaker was informed that she could not bring her three-month-old baby into the hall of the House of Commons.
Labor lawmaker Stella Creasy said she received a letter from House of Commons officials after taking her son Pip into a debate.
He said that in the past he had brought both Pip and his eldest daughter to Parliament without a hitch, but was told the rules had changed in September. Parliamentarians are now being instructed “not to take their seats in the chamber when accompanied by their children.”
Creasy said the rule undermines efforts to make the policy less hostile to families.
“There are barriers to mothers participating in politics, and I think that hurts our political debate,” he told the BBC.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who is conservative, said he had “a lot of empathy” for Creasy, but noted that the decision was the responsibility of those responsible for the chamber.
“I do think we need to make sure that our profession is brought into the modern world, into the 21st century, and that it allows parents to balance the jobs they have with the time they need for the family.”
Green Party legislator Caroline Lucas described the veto of children as “absurd” and claimed that babies were “much less annoying than many parliamentarians braying in the background.”