Londoner’s Diary: Pregnant Creasy: I’m too ill to work — but have no choice

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Frustrated: Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, speaks in Trafalgar Square in January 2017 (Getty Images)
Frustrated: Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, speaks in Trafalgar Square in January 2017 (Getty Images)

Welcome to Wednesday’s Londoner’s Diary. Today, Stella Creasy says she’s too ill to work but has no choice because of Parliament’s arcane rules. Later we find out whether Rachel Johnson will follow her one-time antagonist Brian May out of London because of flooding. Writer Elif Shafak discloses her secret and surprising musical passion (hint: it includes the word “pagan”). And in SW1A, we wonder if there’s something in the air in Scotland as news arrives of a pair of SNP engagements.

10:41 , Robbie Smith

Frustrated: Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, speaks in Trafalgar Square in January 2017 (Getty Images)
Frustrated: Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, speaks in Trafalgar Square in January 2017 (Getty Images)

Stella Creasy says she is too ill to work, but is being forced to because of the antiquated Parliamentary system.

“Anyone who knows me knows how humiliating admitting this is for me, but feel I have no choice,” the Labour MP said while updating her Walthamstow constituents on her situation.

“Pregnancy and diabetes making me very ill,” Creasy explained. “In truth I probably shouldn’t be working… but the refusal of Parliament and IPSA to provide adequate maternity cover means no choice as no one to pass stuff onto for now. They seem to have decided proper, legal maternity cover isn’t something MPs need.”

Creasy, who has long campaigned for improved maternity rights for MPs, spent time in hospital in June with gestational diabetes.

During her previous pregnancy, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority piloted a “locum MP” scheme but confirmed last month that this would not be happening again. Creasy is taking legal advice about whether to sue the Government. IPSA told us it was “committed to supporting a more family-friendly Parliament”.

15:40 , Robbie Smith

Lady Amelia Windsor, Tigerlily Taylor, Bee Beardsworth (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Dr Jart)
Lady Amelia Windsor, Tigerlily Taylor, Bee Beardsworth (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Dr Jart)

The children of the famous were out in Carnaby Street last night. Tigerlily Taylor, daughter of Queen drummer Roger, and Lady Amelia Windsor, the Duke of Kent’s granddaughter, joined singer Ella Eyre, novelist Yomi Adegoke, model Charli Howard and photographer Bee Beardsworth at the launch of Korean skincare pop up Dr.Jart+.

SW1A

14:40 , Robbie Smith

The Net Zero plan from the Government is the newest target for its own rebel MPs. Craig Mackinlay, one of the former “Spartans” who held out against Theresa May over Brexit, is the latest to sound off. The plan will cause “a social calamity for those least able to afford its cost,” he writes in The Critic Magazine. Ominous.

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In the space of three days two SNP MPs, Amy Callaghan and Hannah Bardell, have both got engaged. Bardell said her partner Emma said yes on a remote beach “just as the rain started”, while Callaghan yesterday revealed she had said yes while on the beach in North Berwick. Is there something in the air? Bardell tells us “I’m over the moon to get engaged and hopefully before long use my long hard fought right to get married! I’m also so delighted for Amy and Sean. Not sure whether something is in the air or we are just proof that it is possible for politicians to have normal lives and be happy people.”

13:40 , Robbie Smith

Heavy metal fan: Turkish writer Elif shafak poses during the 5th edition of the Women’s Forum at the Deauville International Center on October 16, 2009 (MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP via Getty Images)
Heavy metal fan: Turkish writer Elif shafak poses during the 5th edition of the Women’s Forum at the Deauville International Center on October 16, 2009 (MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Novelist Elif Shafak has a hidden side — she is a metalhead. “I love that music and it really helps me to find a calmer energy...I don’t believe people who say that people who listen to it are aggressive.” Instead, the author, inset, tells The Shift podcast, many are “really gentle souls”. Nobody, she says, expects “a middle-aged Turkish woman to be a metalhead, but I am”. Her favourite subgenres include, deep breath, “industrial metal, gothic, symphonic, Viking, pagan, metalcore, thrash metal”. What next, Martin Amis the psy-trance fan?

Johnson reigns as May breaks free

12:46 , Robbie Smith

Sandbags prepped: Rachel Johnson arrives on the third day of the Conservative party conference on October 6, 2015 in Manchester. (Getty Images)
Sandbags prepped: Rachel Johnson arrives on the third day of the Conservative party conference on October 6, 2015 in Manchester. (Getty Images)

Brian May has made a splash by announcing he is leaving London because of flooding, but what of Rachel Johnson, his one-time west London antagonist over the issue? The PM’s sister criticised the Queen star last month for having a double basement while complaining about a deluge. May, who does not have a double basement, hit back by saying he had “no idea” who Johnson was but she was wrong. It seems now, though, that she will rule the west London roost. “I’m not going anywhere! I’m sandbagged to high heaven in W11,” she tells us.

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