Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has welcomed new measures which have been brought forward to allow MPs who are on maternity or paternity leave to vote via proxy.
In response to an Urgent Question on the issue in Parliament, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom MP announced that the UK Government would finally bring forward the long-awaited plans to allow proxy voting in certain circumstances.
Speaking during the Urgent Question, Chris Elmore supported this decision and stressed the need for ministers to bring forward a substantive motion and a vote in the event that any MPs opposed the plans which are due to be brought forward on Monday.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“This is a really important step towards bringing our Parliament into the twenty first century. It’s only right that new mothers and fathers are able to vote on behalf of their constituents whilst also being able to enjoy time to spend time with their new born baby in the crucial early months of their life.”
The move follows the controversy involving the MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq MP, who was forced to delay her caesarean to enable her to vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
Previously, so-called “pairing” arrangements, whereby MPs on opposite sides of the House abstained from voting to reflect new parents’ absence from Parliament, were also broken. This led to widespread cross-party anger.
Chris Elmore MP added:
“After we had the government whips’ office scandalously breaking pairing arrangements on key legislation before Christmas, I’m glad that now MPs who have become new parents will have the certainty that their voice in the Commons will not be lost as a result of them being on maternity or paternity leave.”