Tulip Siddiq: Victory for MP on proxy voting in House of Commons after delaying son’s birth for Brexit vote
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Proxy voting has been introduced for MPs who are new parents after Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq delayed giving birth to vote in the Brexit debate a fortnight ago.
The motion was heard by the House of Commons late last night, and approved after a debate that lasted around an hour. The scheme, which will apply to new parents and those who have had miscarriages, will be trialled for a year before being reviewed.
Tulip gave birth to her son, Raphael, on January 19 after delaying her planned caesarean due to a vote on the Brexit bill being held in Parliament on January 15.
The Royal Free Hospital, where she had Raphael and her daughter Azalea, said her pregnancy was “high-risk” and were keen to arrange a swift birth.
However Tulip, who won the seat in 2015, asked doctors if she could delay it due to the vote, and the no-confidence motion which was tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
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At the time there was no proxy arrangement in place, and the pairing system which can be used to give time off to MPs was broken by Tory MP Brandon Lewis.
The development added to a catalogue of MPs who have been calling for the change in recent years.
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Tulip will be voting by proxy for the first time tonight, in the latest Brexit motion.
Tulip said: “As the first MP to cast a proxy vote, I am able to represent Hampstead and Kilburn residents in the crucial weeks ahead. This constitutional change may seem minor in light of the enormous issues facing the country, but voters have the right to expect that their MP will represent them – even at times of pregnancy or serious illness.
“This has been a successful cross-party campaign, but with a succession of critical Brexit votes planned over the coming weeks, it will be business as usual as I vote in favour of retaining our close relationship with Europe.”