Labour MP Stella Creasy has reacted after Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle asked a cross-party committee to consider the rules about bringing babies in the chamber.

Ms Creasy said she was “pleased to hear this” after Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle asked a cross-party committee to look at the current rules.

The mother-of-two was emailed by authorities on Tuesday, November 23 after bringing her breastfeeding son Pip into Westminster Hall.

Her son was observed throughout the debate and was praised by MPs for being as “as good as gold” before receiving the email from the private secretary to Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing after the debate. 


The Walthamstow MP has said that Parliament needs to be dragged into the 21st century she said as she encouraged her followers to join her campaign on Twitter.

Ms Creasy called on her followers to sign up via the social media platform, writing: "Other countries show it doesn’t have to be this way - If you want things to change so politics and parenting can mix, please join our project to help directly support mums of young children to stand for office - sign up here at!"

The Labour MP, who does not have maternity cover, said it appears “mothers in the mother of all parliaments are not to be seen or heard”.

What does the MP rulebook say about babies in the House of Commons?

In the email, Ms Creasy was pointed to the paragraph 42 of the MPs’ rulebook.

The rulebook, which was updated in September, states that MPs “should not take your seat in the chamber when accompanied by your child”.

“It’s a bit of a mystery to me because I have two children and I’ve taken them both previously into the chamber as needs must to make sure my constituents have representation,” she told Sky News.

“I think it’s representative of the way as a mum you can’t win because if I had maternity cover it would be a different issue, and I don’t and I don’t want to short-change my residents.”

What did Sir Lindsay Hoyle say to MPs?

Sir Lindsay Hoyle was under pressure to urgently clarify the current rules since babies have been permitted in the chamber in the past.

Sir Lindsay told MPs in a statement on Wednesday, November 24, told MPs: “It is extremely important that parents of babies and young children are able to participate fully in the work of this House.”

He said he had been unaware of the advice given to Labour’s Stella Creasy, who was told she can no longer bring her three-month-old son into the Commons chamber, but it “correctly reflects the current rules”.

“However, rules have to be seen in context and they change with the times,” he said.

The Commons “has to be able to function professionally and without disturbance” but there “may be occasions when the chair can exercise discretion”.

He continued: “I accept there are differing views on this matter, indeed I have been contacted by honourable Members who have babies with a range of views.

“There are also likely to be some consequential matters, therefore I have asked the chair of the Procedure Committee if she and her committee look into this matter and bring forward recommendations which would ultimately be for the House to take a view on.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, said the rule is “absurd” and that it must be challenged before she added that babies are “far less disruptive than many braying backbenchers”.

Tory former under-Secretary of State for Justice minister Paul Maynard told the debate: “I congratulate Pip on taking the sensible decision to fall asleep during his mother’s speech.

“He had a nice long sleep, as we can all observe, which was perhaps a sensible decision by him.”

Labour frontbencher Pat McFadden added: “I also thank our youngest member, who has attended the debate and been as good as gold throughout.”

While Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said he has “a lot of sympathy” for Ms Creasy, he added the decision is for the House authorities to make.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I think we do need to make sure our profession is brought into the modern world, the 21st century, and can allow parents to juggle the jobs they do with the family time that they need.

“When you see your colleagues with their children given the rough and tumble of politics, I just always think it brings out the best in people.

“Whether it’s the right thing in the chamber, there will be different views on that, it will be for the House authorities to decide, but it certainly wouldn’t distract me or get in the way of me doing my job.”

Have other women MPs brought babies into the chamber?

Ms Creasy started to bring her then-newborn to the chamber in later September, strapped to her chest but she was not the first woman to bring her child into a debate.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson cradled her son on the Commons’ green benches in September 2018 and is believed to be the first woman MP to do so.

When Ms Cready addressed the Commons and Jacob Rees-Mogg in September, asked them to ensure new mothers were supported rather than “rebuked” when returning to Parliament.

The Commons Leader responded that the rules were “perfectly reasonable and entirely in line with the law”.

However, the current rules continue to have real consequences with the Leicester West MP Liz Kendall recently announcing that she will be stepping back from her parliamentary duties and her frontbench role.

Kendall will be stepping down temporarily next year when she has a new baby through surrogacy.