When will Commons drag itself into this century?

It’s horrifying to think that an MP has been forced to delay her caesarean section in order to vote on the Brexit deal tomorrow.

Hampstead and Kilburn’s Tulip Siddiq told The Standard

If my son enters the world even one day later than the doctors advised, but it’s a world with a better chance of a strong relationship between Britain and Europe, then that’s worth fighting for.”

The Royal Free has been very clear on their legal and health duties. This is a high risk pregnancy and I am doing this against doctor’s advice.

Any idea that a pairing arrangement would be honoured was blown apart by Brandon Lewis’s failure to honour the agreement with Jo Swinson when her baby Gabriel was just weeks old last Summer.

People were also horrified to see Labour MP Naz Shah, who was sick and in pain, wheeled through the voting lobby.

There is a much more humane way of doing this – allowing MPs who are incapacitated in some way to cast their votes by proxy. Nobody should have to be taken to their place of work by ambulance to perform part of their duties.

Jo Swinson made it clear how she felt about the situation:

You have to wonder if they’d have been swifter to act if any of the babies due had been pm their side.

Laura Gordon, Lib Dem candidate in Sheffield Hallam, had this to say:

We cannot allow MPs to be put in this position. Let’s hope that Tulip, Jo and Naz are the last to have to endure  this injustice.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Lorenzo Cherin 15th Jan '19 - 2:01pm

    I have not posted on here for a little while. I return to discover an excellent piece with sensible argument and a very poignant response which must be considered.

    The argument Caron puts is so obvious that it is unbelievable such proxy arrangements have not been implemented.

    Tulip Sadiq should be admired on this, but my view is the better thing would have her stick two fingers up to the process by making clear why she cannot vote, rather than risk her and her baby’s health. It is true to say the experience of our own deputy Jo Swinson was appalling, pairing was considered essential, reliable, once upon a time when parliament, for all its faults, had some degree of loyalty , decency.

    It saddens me to think the terrific Ruth above, left our party. Ruth, if you read this, consider a return, we need you, no amount of experience to the contrary should make you think your viewpoint is not valued, or your effort.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 16th Jan '19 - 12:33am

    Thanks to Ruth for your lovely comments, as a British patriot of part Irish and a full half Italian, with an American born, bred, wife, I am , if not one of the Theresa May mocked, citizens of the world, certainly, an internatonalist!

    Good to see David Raw here, in agreement, and solidarity.

  • Ruth is right, we need to get our own house in order on this – and quite a lot of other employment matters as well – as well as pushing for the commons to be better.

  • I know he’s not always the favourite of contributors to LDV, but I thought Speaker Bercow’s comments in response to an SNP MP (a Doctor) raising this issue were very good. Lets hope he will now force the issue with the dinosaurs in Parliament.

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