A UK MP has been left “baffled” after being told bringing her newborn baby into Parliament is against its rules.
Stella Creasy, from the opposition Labour Party, said she received a letter from the House of Commons authorities after she took her three-month-old son to a debate.
She had previously taken her son and her older daughter to Parliament without any issues but was told rules had changed in September.
“I’m a bit baffled by the whole thing,” she told the BBC.
“This isn’t my first child and I have previously taken very small babies. My son is 13 weeks old so I can’t really leave him on his own, and I don’t have any maternity cover.
“If my constituents want representation I need to go in, I need to be able to speak, but I can’t leave a baby that small, which I’m feeding at this point of time, on its own.”
Members of Parliament are now advised that they “should not take your seat in the chamber when accompanied by a child” according to the email Creasy received, which she published on Twitter.
A number of UK politicians have called for a change to the rules, with MP Alex Davies-Jones writing on Twitter that she had been previously told babies were allowed in the Chamber.
The Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle said on Wednesday: “It’s extremely important that parents of young children are able to participate fully in the work of this House.”
“The advice given yesterday... correctly reflects the current rules,” he said. While there are “differing views on this matter”, he has asked for the rules to be looked at again.
Creasy said that while MPs had taken the time to make a rule banning babies from the chamber, “we don’t seem to have at the moment made a rule about wearing a mask,” another matter of ongoing debate in the House of Commons.
“It does seem to be a bit of a reflection of how Parliament was set up for another era when perhaps most MPs were men of a certain age and independent means,” she added.