Pregnant MP Told She Was 'Bringing Down The Whole Of Womankind' For Leaving Commons For Food

REX Features

A pregnant MP was reportedly told off for playing the "pregnancy card" as an excuse to break parliamentary conventions.

According to the Evening Standard, Labour MP Tulip Siddiq was involved in a tense exchange with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Eleanor Laing, on Wednesday as MPs debated the government's Universal Credit.

Siddiq, who is seven months pregnant, left the debate in order to have something to eat. Upon her return, Laing is said to have called her over to the Speaker's chair.

The paper reports witnesses heard Laing telling Siddiq she was "bringing down the whole of womankind" and had "made women look bad".

Deputy Commons Speaker Eleanor Laing

Laing is reported to have added: "People will think that women can’t follow the conventions of the House because they’re pregnant.”

Laing is also have said to have told Siddiq: "Don’t play the pregnancy card with me". Although Siddiq is said not to have mentioned being pregnant.

In the time when Siddiq was out of the Commons chamber. Laing criticised the behaviour of MPs, like Siddiq, who were elected in 2015.

"I have to reduce the time limit to five minutes. I also remind the House, because perhaps newer Members have forgotten, having been away for Christmas, that 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," she said.

Siddiq told The Evening Standard the incident showed the Commons conventions are "outdated" and what she had done was "common sense".

At the time of publication Laing had not responded to a request for comment.