Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA
Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

A Scottish MP was rebuked by a Westminster official for taking her children to a parliamentary committee hearing.

SNP member for Aberdeen North Kirsty Blackman said she was left struggling to find childcare last week because of the overlap between Scottish school summer holidays and the parliamentary recess.

Harris, 5, and Rebecca, 2, had to come with her to a meeting on English votes for English laws, which broke parliamentary rules.

Blackman noticed that Rebecca had fallen asleep and brought her to sit at the table the committee were sat around, which the clerk present cautioned her for.

Blackman admitted that she was "probably more distracted" than usual but that the incident had been a "one off".

Westminster does have a nursery but Blackman said it has to be booked well in advance. Speaking to BBC Scotland, the MP said:

I think it probably highlights that parliament isn't doing well enough at providing family friendly facilities.

And if parliament isn't doing well enough, it's not really very easy for us to say to other people 'You need to do better' - we can't say to businesses 'We are an employer of 2,000 people but we can't provide childcare facilities, but you as a big employer have to provide flexible working. It's difficult for parliament to take that role when they're not willing to lead from the front.

A report into sexism and discriminatory working practices in parliament has just been released. It recommends 43 changes to the current rules.

There will be a cross-party panel to discuss implementing changes in September.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)