Pregnant MP to have vote ‘nodded through’ in Commons

By Shaun Connolly, Press Association Political Correspondent

Heavily pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq has revealed her vote will be  “nodded through” in Wednesday’s no-confidence motion in the Government after assurances from Prime Minister Theresa May.

The move follows controversy after the MP, who delayed a Caesarean operation to participate in the Brexit deal vote on Tuesday, had to go through the division lobby in a wheelchair on that occasion.

Labour MP Tulip Siddiq is wheeled through the chamber while MPs vote on Tuesday night (House of Commons/PA)

The process of “nodding through” allows an MP to be counted as having voted without passing through the division lobby, though they must be present on the parliamentary estate.

Ms Siddiq 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.”

The Hampstead and Kilburn MP added: “Nodding through is not ideal, I will still have to travel to Parliament & 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.”

Ms Siddiq insisted she had not taken the decision to delay the birth of her baby “lightly”, but felt she needed to represent her constituents.

The MP’s move came after controversy in the summer when Conservative Chief Whip Julian Smith ordered Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis to break a pairing agreement with Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson while she was on maternity leave during a crucial Brexit vote.

Pairing agreements are used when MPs cannot make it to the Commons for votes for medical and other reasons.

It means someone from the other side also does not vote to ensure there is no unfair advantage caused by their absence.

Mrs May later said Mr Smith had made an “honest mistake” and had apologised.