Britain to get its first ever ‘caretaker’ MP as Labour backbencher prepares to give birth

·Freelance Writer
Stella Creasy MP at the International Congress of Parliamentary Women's Caucuses at Dublin castle today.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
A locum MP is being hired to cover for Stella Creasy while she's on maternity leave (PA)

Britain’s first ever caretaker MP is being sought to cover for Labour’s Stella Creasy while she is on maternity leave.

Ms Creasy will start her maternity leave next month and the person taking over from her will need to represent her constituency of Walthamstow for seven months.

The successful candidate will be able to correspond and meet with ministers but will not be permitted to speak or vote in Parliament.

British lawmakers in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday Sept. 25, 2019. Britain's House of Commons reconvened on Wednesday following the bombshell Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had acted illegally by suspending Parliament — in effect stymieing efforts to consider laws surrounding Brexit. (Parliament TV via AP)
The caretaker PM will not be able to speak or vote in Parliament (AP)

A sitting MP will act as Ms Creasy’s proxy for any Parliamentary votes.

The locum MP will receive a pro rata salary that will be the equivalent of £50,000 a year.

A job advert states that the role “is rooted in Walthamstow not Westminster”, adding: “Locum cover is about ensuring the casework, campaigns and concerns of the residents of this special area are not neglected for six months.”

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MPs on maternity leave have previously arranged their own unofficial cover through staff and colleagues.

Speaking about the new role, Ms Creasy said: “If the place that makes the law doesn’t recognise the value of ensuring cover for the duties of MPs, then how can it advocate for the millions of parents across the country worried that if they take time out to care for newborn children they will suffer?”

She added: “I hope Ipsa will see this as a pilot scheme and learn from it — with a general election in the offing it’s vital no one who is of childbearing age is put off standing for office by the lack of help…

BRIGHTON ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Stella Creasy Labour MP for Walthamstow Speaking at the Jewish Labour Movement Rally Fringe event at the 2019 Labour Party conference. (Photo by Nicola Tree/Getty Images) on September 22, 2019 in Brighton, England.
Ms Creasy previously spoke of how she felt forced to choose between being an MP and a mother (Getty)

“This post means residents in Walthamstow can be confident that when my child is born they will still have someone to take up their cases with ministers, local public services and an advocate for the causes they care about.”

Ms Creasy previously spoke of how she felt forced to choose between being an MP and a mother because of the lack of cover.

She wrote in the Guardian: “If a GP or vicar were on leave, a locum would be provided to ensure continuity of community services.”

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