POLITICIANS are calling for a rethink of Westminster rules over maternity leave after pregnant MP Stella Creasy said she felt forced to choose between her job and being a mother.
The Labour MP said the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which regulates MPs’ pay, does not recognise that MPs go on maternity leave.
It also does not provide for any paid cover for work outside the chamber.
Ms Creasy (pictured), 42, who is expecting her first child after two miscarriages, wrote in The Guardian: ‘Humiliatingly, it [Ipsa] is making me beg for extra staff funding — or give up any chance of spending time with my child to make sure my constituents don’t miss out. I never thought parliament would tell me to choose between being an MP and being a mum.’
Yesterday, Theresa May’s official spokesman urged Ipsa to look at the rules, saying ‘there is much more to do’ to support female MPs. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted: ‘Incredibly moving from @stellacreasy and impossible to argue with her logic.’
Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: ‘It shouldn’t be more difficult to be a female MP than a male MP’. And ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband said it was ‘time to get closer to the 21st century’.
In January, Labour MP Tulip Siddiq postponed her caesarean section so she could be wheeled into the chamber to vote.