Labour MP accused of playing pregnancy card
“Tulip receives scathing remark from Deputy Speaker of the Commons”
A heavily pregnant Labour MP, who was only two months away from giving birth, was allegedly accused of ‘bringing down the whole of womankind’ and ‘playing the pregnancy card’ after she broke the rules of the Commons by leaving a debate to have a snack break.
According to the Evening Standard, Tulip Siddiq was allegedly told by Eleanor Laing, the Deputy Speaker of the Commons, that she had ‘made women look bad’ by leaving the Commons Chamber whilst they were debating Universal Credit welfare reforms.
Official records say that Miss Siddiq arrived in the Chamber at 12.30am before giving a speech at 2.30pm. She left to get food 15-minutes later, and was publically criticised by Mrs Laing.
Speaking from the Speaker's Chair she said: “If one makes a speech in the Chamber, it is courteous and required by the rules of the House that one stays in the Chamber certainly for the following speech and usually for at least two speeches thereafter.
“The people who have not done so today know who they are.”
Mrs Laing beckoned her over when she returned 45 minutes later.
One witness told the Evening Standard: “Tulip apologised, she didn’t mention being pregnant, but Madame Deputy Speaker was annoyed and said, ‘Don’t play the pregnancy card with me’.”
They claimed that the Deputy Speaker added that ‘you've made women look bad’ before allegedly saying: “People will think that women can’t follow the conventions of the House because they’re pregnant.”
She was then said to have said: “You’re bringing down the whole of womankind.”
A Commons spokesman declined to comment on ‘the content of private conversations held in the Chamber’.
The spokesman added that if an MP needs to leave a debate before convention allows they can apply ‘privately to the chair to leave the Chamber’.