Pregnant British MP delayed birth of child so she could vote against Brexit
|globalnews.ca 20 Jan 2019 at 10:50|
Due to a lack of voting-by-proxy procedures in U.K. Parliament, one Labour MP decided to delay the birth of her child in order to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal, which took place on Tuesday.
Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, was nine months pregnant and had been encouraged by her doctor to give birth through a cesarean section last week after developing gestational diabetes, BuzzFeed reports.
However, she reportedly asked doctors to delay her child’s birth by two days so she would be physically present to cast her vote on a Brexit deal presented by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May for approval by lawmakers on Tuesday.
She also returned to the House of Commons on Wednesday night to be counted in the non-confidence vote against the government.
Currently, the U.K. deals with MP absenteeism through a pairing system, which effectively matches up absent MPs from either sides so their votes cancel each other out.
Ahead of the vote on Tuesday, Siddiq tweeted, “My decision to delay my baby’s birth is not one I take lightly.”
Thank you all for supportive messages. My decision to delay my baby s birth is not one I take lightly. Let me be clear, I have no faith in the pairing system – in July the Govt stole the vote of a new mother. It s my duty to represent Hampstead & Kilburn, and I will do just that.
She added that she had no faith in the U.K.’s pairing system, which she claims was used to “[steal] the vote of a new mother” in July.
Siddiq wound up being nodded through for the non-confidence vote, a process designed for members with special circumstances such as an illness or small children.
“I went through the division lobby in a wheelchair last night because pairing is broken, there is no proxy voting, and I wanted my vote recorded,” she tweeted .
In light of the PM s personal assurances to me yesterday, I will be nodded through for tonight s vote of no confidence. I went through the division lobby in a wheelchair last night because pairing is broken, there is no proxy voting, and I wanted my vote recorded.
“Nodding through is not ideal, I will still have to travel to Parliament and wait for whips to check I am present even though I am giving birth tomorrow. The UK is in chaos and, clearly, much greater issues face the country, but Parliament needs dragging into the 21st century ASAP.”
May is due to present Parliament with a revised Brexit plan on Monday, after the divorce deal she had struck with the EU was rejected by lawmakers last week.
With just over two months until Britain is due to leave the bloc, some members of Parliament are pushing for the U.K. to delay its departure until the country’s divided politicians can agree on a way forward.
As for Siddiq, she gave birth to her second child on Thursday morning, Raphael Mujib St John Percy weighing in at 6 pounds 6.9 ounces. Siddiq and her husband Christian Percy welcomed their first daughter Azalea in 2016.