East Lothian MP to act as Westminster proxy for pregnant colleague
Martin Whitfield will vote on her behalf in House of Commons
EAST Lothian Labour MP Martin Whitfield is to act as proxy for party colleague Stella Creasy during her maternity leave in the first arrangement of its kind at Westminster.
If re-elected, Mr Whitfield will vote on her behalf in any parliamentary votes while she is off.
Ms Creasy has also been to appoint a locum Kizzy Gardiner to stand in for her except in the Commons.
Mr Whitfield said: “This historic change is long overdue and I’m delighted to be asked by Stella to be her proxy. She has been a trailblazer in the fight for equality and I’m proud to call her a friend.
“While I will be acting as her proxy in the chamber, Kizzy will take on Stella’s duties and continue her brilliant work representing people in Walthamstow.
“We need to modernise our Parliament, which for far too long has meant some women have been forced to choose between being an MP and a mum.
“It’s worrying that so many women are leaving politics, so this is a vital step to ensure that future politicians aren’t put off standing for office by the lack of maternity cover. It also means that constituents will have someone to raise local issues with at all times.”
Ms Creasy is due to give birth at the end of November.
Mr Whitfield, who won East Lothian from the SNP in 2017 with a 3083 majority, is being challenged this time by former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.