Wales

Breastfeeding MP: Commons green light 'makes me proud'

The picture Alex Davies-Jones posted to Twitter to mark 10 months breastfeeding her son Image copyright Twitter/@alexdaviesjones
Image caption Alex Davies-Jones posted this image to Twitter to mark 10 months breastfeeding her son

A new Labour MP who tweeted an image of herself breastfeeding has said women being given the green light to breastfeed in the Commons is "brilliant".

On Thursday new Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: "If it happens, it happens. I wouldn't be upset by it."

In 2000, former Speaker Betty Boothroyd ruled breastfeeding could not take place in the chamber.

Pontypridd Labour MP Alex Davies-Jones said she was "really proud."

"It's long overdue and I'm glad it's happened for mothers across the House," she said.

Ms Davies-Jones won the seat held by Labour for 97 years after former Labour leadership contender Owen Smith did not stand.

"All workplaces should have a safe place for mothers to express or feed their children.

"I'm glad the Commons has moved with the times and changed policy," she said.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said breastfeeding in the Commons "is up to the woman"

On Wednesday she posted an image on Twitter of her breastfeeding her baby Sullivan to mark 10 months of breastfeeding.

When asked if she would be breastfeeding her child in the chamber, she said: "Never say never, if the time arises.

"I won't do it for the sake of doing it or for it to be a gimmick [but] I'm in the chamber for hours on end and it's good to have the option to do it."

Labour MP Harriet Harman, who ran against Sir Lindsay for the role of Speaker, was one of the first MPs to breastfeed her child in the Commons in the 1980s.

Speaking to reporters in Westminster on Thursday, Sir Lindsay, who is responsible for MPs' conduct in the Commons, said: "My view is, it is up to the woman.

"I think it would be wrong for me as a man to dictate on that policy. If it happens, it happens. I wouldn't be upset by it."

He also told journalists at the Press Gallery lunch he believed bullying had taken place at Westminster and he wanted everyone working on the Parliamentary Estate to be respected.

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