Stella Creasy, an MP for the opposition Labour Party, said she was told by a representative of Parliament’s lower house that it was against the rules to bring a child to a debate at Westminster Hall after she attended with her son on Tuesday.
“My son is 13 weeks old, so I can’t really leave him on his own and I don’t have any maternity cover. So I kind of can’t win here,” Creasy told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire on Wednesday.
“I need to go in and I need to be able to speak but I also can’t leave a baby that small, which I’m feeding at this point in time.
“I’ve been told very clearly that apparently Parliament has taken time to write a law that it’s a parliamentary faux pas and against the courtesies of the house to bring a child with you.
“But we don’t seem at the moment to have made a rule about wearing masks. It does seem to be a bit of a reflection of how Parliament was set up for another era when perhaps, you know, most MPs were men of a certain age and independent means,” she added.
A spokesperson for the House of Commons told CNN in an email that it is vital that all democratically elected MPs are able to carry out their duties in and around Parliament.
“Members can at any time consult with the Speaker, Deputy Speakers, Clerks and Doorkeepers about their requirements while in the Chamber or in Westminster Hall at any time,” the spokesperson said.
“We are currently in communication with Stella Creasy about this matter,” they added.
Creasy told the BBC that while she wouldn’t bring her other child, a toddler, into work “because she would find everything breakable or spreadable in the parliamentary chamber within five minutes and cause havoc,” her infant son was “completely silent.”
Referencing the new rules published in September, Creasy, who said she had brought her first child to the House, said: “I don’t understand what has changed. What I do understand is that there are barriers to getting mums involved in politics and I think that damages our political debates.”
Creasy lost a battle with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority this summer after she was told she could not hire a locum to cover her maternity leave after the birth of her second child.
The rule change, voted through unanimously, was made to accommodate senators with newborn babies, allowing them to bring a child under the age of 1 onto the Senate floor and breastfeed them during votes.
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