What to do with pregnant MPs? Watch

tenacity
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#41
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#41
Is there any merit in the idea that a 'deputy' could take over while an MP was on maternity leave? The obvious issue being whether they are elected and by whom, or simply nominated by the MP or the party.

I don't think this is a very common occurrence because most MPs seem to be elected at a stage of life when women have either had the children they want or are no longer able to, but it seems punitive not to help those affected to do so and may disincentivise some women from putting themselves forward in the first place.
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ThomH97
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#42
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
I'd be much happier with an MP who wants to represent their constituents but can't (because of family reasons) than one who simply can't be arsed. I personally wouldn't mind it if my MP took a year out (or less) to care for their new infant. Any longer and I would begin to start concerns, sure.
Wouldn't you prefer if your MP didn't take a year out though? You can always say "Oh, but at least it's not as bad as that", but that doesn't make it a good thing for a constituency to be left without elected representation for such a significant period of time.
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ThomH97
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#43
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(Original post by tenacity)
Is there any merit in the idea that a 'deputy' could take over while an MP was on maternity leave? The obvious issue being whether they are elected and by whom, or simply nominated by the MP or the party.
I think this is workable, but it would probably be easier for the new parent who wants to spend time at home to step down from the role they are no longer able to fulfil and call a full by-election. That or the MP could continue calling the shots but subcontract some things to someone else.

I don't think this is a very common occurrence because most MPs seem to be elected at a stage of life when women have either had the children they want or are no longer able to, but it seems punitive not to help those affected to do so and may disincentivise some women from putting themselves forward in the first place.
I think it would become more common if it were made easier. Bear in mind too that these aren't going to be accidental pregnancies, I imagine Creasy (for example) has been planning to have a baby for quite a while now, intending to take a significant amount of time out of representing her constituents should she manage to have a baby. Personally I would rather not have candidates claiming to want to represent tens of thousands of people if they are intending to drop that responsibility part way through.
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nulli tertius
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#44
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(Original post by tenacity)
Is there any merit in the idea that a 'deputy' could take over while an MP was on maternity leave? The obvious issue being whether they are elected and by whom, or simply nominated by the MP or the party.

I don't think this is a very common occurrence because most MPs seem to be elected at a stage of life when women have either had the children they want or are no longer able to, but it seems punitive not to help those affected to do so and may disincentivise some women from putting themselves forward in the first place.
I think it is more of an issue because women are starting families later. Margaret Thatcher had fought and lost Dartford twice by the time she had her children in 1953 but she was only 28 which is young by modern standards.

Some European states have Alternates for members of the National Assembly but I don’t really know how that works.

Personally, as I posted above, what I see as the only real issue has been cured by proxy voting during maternity leave.

I don’t really see constituency casework or attending constituency events as an issue. Undertaking it isn’t an obligation on MPs, it is simply one way of ingratiating oneself with constituents. Some MPs have always done more than others. Labour MPs tend more to act as a local CAB; some Tories are permanent dinner guests. Sitting MPs have an inbuilt advantage at elections. I don’t really see why we should be feeding that advantage.
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nulli tertius
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#45
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(Original post by tenacity)
25 years ago my mother had to fight to remain at chambers when pregnant with me. It was only due to the intervention of Stephen Sedley QC that she was able to. What does the Bar today think about pregnancies among its barristers and does this differ to clerks and other staff?
My experience is that women barristers take little maternity leave but that is similar to most small businesswomen. It is not really any different to the woman optician and the woman sandwich shop proprietor whom I know. Indeed the sandwich maker bought the shop whilst pregnant because it has family friendly hours.
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SHallowvale
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#46
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(Original post by ThomH97)
Wouldn't you prefer if your MP didn't take a year out though? You can always say "Oh, but at least it's not as bad as that", but that doesn't make it a good thing for a constituency to be left without elected representation for such a significant period of time.
I would prefer it, yes. If they were able to find a replacement during that time that would be a good thing, in my opinion, but I'm not insanely fussed otherwise.
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