British MPs must not bring children into the House, a cross-party committee ruled on Thursday after a row over a Labor MP bringing her child into the House. the House of Commons.
The Proceedings Committee report ruled that members planning to observe, initiate, speak or interfere in debates should not bring infants into the chamber, although presiding officers “will de facto retain a degree of discretion that should be used with care”.
“There must be a strong expectation that members will not be involved in proceedings while caring for a child,” he added.
House Speaker Lindsey Hoyle ordered the revision after Labor MP Stella Creasy brought her three-month-old son Pip with her to the debate in November.
Creasy said she was shocked when House of Commons authorities sent her an email stating there were rules against bringing children to debates.
Her appeal provoked the ire of MPs on all sides and promises to revise the current rules, which officials admitted were applied inconsistently.
Justice Minister Dominic Raab, who also has young children, expressed support for Creasy at the time.
“Quite the right balance in terms of the House, let me leave it up to the authorities of the House of Representatives, but to be honest, I have a lot of sympathy for Stella Creasy,” he told BBC television.
“I think we need to make sure that our profession is brought into the modern world, into the 21st century, and can allow parents to combine the work they do with the time they need for the family.”
But the committee’s report says it’s a “long-standing practice” that “children should not be present.”
Despite the formal ban, earlier deputies brought children to debates without reprimand. Former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was the first to do so in 2018.
Creasy said she was “not surprised” by the recommendation.
“This committee has not spoken to a single person outside of Parliament, despite the fact that many of us have encouraged them to do so, so I am not surprised that they do not recognize who is repelled from Parliament by its outdated rules and approach to women with children. and needs to be upgraded,” she said.