Sat, 02 Dec 2023

UK lawmakers told not to bring babies to parliament

Robert Besser
03 Jul 2022, 16:39 GMT+10

LONDON, England: A UK parliamentary committee has told lawmakers that they may not bring babies to parliamentary proceedings and debates.

The decision caused a debate on whether the UK parliament's working culture would deter some potential candidates.

The Commons Procedure Committee said, in a statement, "Members of parliament should not bring babies into the Chamber, Westminster Hall or general committees to observe, initiate, speak or intervene in proceedings."

The review acknowledged that babies had previously been taken into the House without causing disturbance, but existing rules should still apply.

The committee's recommendation is contrary to other countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, which have changed their rules to allow lawmakers to feed babies in debating chambers.

After UK lawmaker Stella Creasy was told in November 2021 that it was against the rules to bring her baby to a debate in parliament, the committee's latest recommendation follows House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle's request for a review.

In response to the committee's proposal on the rules, Creasy said, "I am not surprised they do not recognize who is put off parliament by its antiquated rules and approach to women who have children and the need to modernize."

Commenting on the decision, a spokesman for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "The UK government was committed to an inclusive parliament, but the rules were a matter for parliamentary authorities."

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