U.K. lawmaker Stella Creasy said she was reprimanded for bringing her three-month-old son to a debate in parliament, in what she called an outdated barrier for working mothers.
Creasy, an MP from the opposition Labour Party, tweeted an email in which she was reminded on Tuesday about regulations that prohibit members of Parliament from taking their children inside the main chamber. It seemed as if “mothers in the mother of all parliament are not to be seen or heard,” she said.
In response to another Twitter user who questioned whether any mother can claim the freedom to take children to their workplace, Creasy said “it’s actually a legal right not to be discriminated against because you are breastfeeding.” She dismissed the criticism as out of step for the “21st century where we make it possible for women to be parliamentarians.”
Another Labour MP, Alex Davies-Jones, tweeted that the rule was a “complete contradiction”, given that she was previously granted permission to breastfeed her baby in the Commons.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab expressed sympathy for Creasy, saying that the presence of a child “wouldn’t distract me or get in the way of me doing my job.” Creasy has a history of campaigning on parental issues, including better maternity cover, support for parents in politics and a change in rules for proxy voting when MPs are on parental leave.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became the first world leader to take an infant to the United Nations General Assembly in New York during a period in which she was breastfeeding her then three-month-old daughter.
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