An MP Says She Is Being Forced To Choose Between Her Career And Motherhood And That's Not OK

Stella Creasy has written about her experiences, criticising parliament for failing working politicians who are mums

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A pregnant female politician has derided the parliamentary decision not to recognise maternity leave and pay, saying she is consequently forced to choose between her personal and professional life.

Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, wrote in of her previous experiences of pregnancy and fertility struggles and how provisions for this were most certainly not made in her workplace of parliament.

Creasy describes having to join an important protest 'aching and bleeding' after her first miscarriage. After a second, had to ensure an operation - needed after her baby's heart stopped beating - was scheduled on a day she didn't have to hold constituency surgery hours.

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'Now I'm pregnant once more and terrified - not just that it will go wrong again, but because I know that my resolve to keep my private and professional lives separate has become impossible,' she writes.

In her article, Creasy laments the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA)'s - the body that regulates MPs - which does not 'recognise' that MPs go on maternity leave so also does not provide maternity cover for MPs' duties, such as casework.

'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,' she continues. 'If a GP or vicar were on leave, a locum would be provided to ensure continuity of community services. In Denmark a member of the national parliament would have a substitute MP appointed.'

stella creasy
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Creasy stressed that this experience was not unique to her, bringing up the case of colleague Tulip Suddiq who was so she could vote on Brexit in the House of Commons earlier this year.

Following Creasy's piece and her declaration to fight IPSA on the issue of maternity leave, she was praised by politicians from both hers and opposing parties, including Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson

'No community should miss out on representation because its MP is pregnant - nor should my opponents be able to argue there's a cost to my constituents because I may success in my quest to conceive,' Creasy rightly said.

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