UK Politics

Tom Tugendhat 'changed nappy during live interview'

Tom Tugendhat Image copyright UK Parliament

An MP says he recently changed his daughter's nappy during a grilling on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Tom Tugendhat told the Politico website he navigated the telephone interview without host John Humphrys getting to the bottom of what he was up to.

The Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling described what he called "Radio Roulette" - booking a live interview while home alone with his children.

"Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose", he said.

Mr Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said he suffered one "epic loss" last year, when an interview about Catalonian independence with London-based radio station LBC was cut short by an interruption from his crying baby.

"My wife often has to go to Paris for the day to work, which means leaving very early and getting home very late, so I'm alone with the kids in the morning," he told the BBC. His children are aged four and 18 months, he said.

"If I have an interview to do I just have to hope they don't wake up and, if they do, that they'll accept their breakfast in silence... or will let me change nappies without making a sound."

The government has faced calls to make the House of Commons more accessible for MPs who are new parents, and the Tories were criticised last month for breaking a "pairing" pact with Lib Dem Jo Swinson, who missed a vote due to maternity leave.

Pairing arrangements between MPs of opposing parties allow either to cancel out the effect of the other being absent - for example if they are ill, off on leave or out of the country - by missing occasional votes.

Ministers have promised a debate about allowing MPs on parental leave to vote by proxy so they do not have to attend the Commons in person.