Stella Creasy Should Not Have To Fight To Bring Her Baby To Work

The MP was told she wasn’t allowed to bring her three-month-old sleeping baby into the House of Commons, but why shouldn't she be?

Stella Creasy

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has been told she cannot bring her baby into the House of Commons when she speaks in the Chamber. Sharing the news on Twitter, the ban has since sparked furious debate about the parental rights of MPs.

Posting a picture of an email from the Private Secretary to the Chairman of Ways and Means, Stella was told that the department had been ‘made aware’ that she brought her three-month-old son into Westminster Hall, and that according to rules recently published on parliamentary behaviour, MPs are not allowed to take a seat in the Chamber ‘when accompanied by a child.’

Now, Stella has been bombarded with tweets claiming it is unreasonable for her to expect to bring her breastfeeding baby to work. ‘Does any other mother take their baby into their workplace every day?!’ Julie Hartley-Brewer tweeted. ‘The absurd sense of entitlement of this MP astounds me. Why doesn't Stella Creasy go and enjoy her maternity leave with her baby - she's lucky enough to be on full pay and I'm sure her baby would prefer it.’

As usual, Stella had the best comebacks to all that questioned her rights as a parent and MP.

‘Going out on a limb here and suggest Julia same sort of person who would criticise me for being AWOL if I actually did as she suggests and abandoned my constituents for six months,’ she replied. ‘Without maternity cover I don’t actually get maternity leave as no one else to do my job.’

It’s an important point to account for, because without maternity cover Stella has no choice but to continue working for her constituents alongside taking care of her new baby. Yes, Stella has a partner - former director of Labour Friends of Israel, Dan Fox - but given that she is breastfeeding, there are always going to be times that it's easier for her child to be by her side.

More importantly, weaponising the fact that Stella has a partner who can also care for her child against her is futile - she is still a working mother without maternity cover whose life would be a lot easier if parliament allowed children in the Commons. There are always going to be women having babies in parliament that might, at some point, need to bring their child to work because they don't have maternity cover - all MPs with children would benefit from that being allowed.

And for all those suggesting she gets a nanny or childcare? She shouldn’t have to – because if she had adequate maternity cover, she could actually take maternity leave herself.

What’s crucial to note here is the difference between the treatment of MPs who have second jobs, and the treatment of MPs whose second job is motherhood. While many MPs are fighting to protect their right to high-paying second jobs – on top of their £80k salary – and proving they can do private work while fulfilling their MP responsibilities, Stella is being told that she should either abandon her constituents or abandon her baby. Because hey, motherhood couldn’t possibly be considered a second workload we should make specific allowances for, right?

Ultimately, Stella shouldn’t be having to fight these archaic opinions at all. It shouldn’t be this difficult for mothers to work as an MP and raise their child at the same time, that only serves to further exclude women from politics.

Read More:

Stella Creasy: To Make Sure Our Streets Are Safe For Everyone It's Time To Recognise Misogyny As A Hate Crime

Stella Creasy Is Threatening To Sue Parliament After Being Denied Full Maternity Cover

Stella Creasy: I'm Labelled A 'Hypocrite' For Being Pregnant

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