Pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq to delay the BIRTH of her child so she can

Pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq to delay the BIRTH of her child so she can take part in tomorrow’s crunch vote on May’s Brexit deal

  • Tulip Siddiq postponed her caesarean section by 2 days against doctors’ orders
  • Remain-backing MP said she wants to vote for a better life for her unborn son 
  • The called for reform so pregnant MPs can elect a proxy to vote on their behalf
  • Theresa May is expected to suffer a devastating defeat on her deal tomorrow 

A pregnant Labour MP is delaying the birth of her child so she can take part in tomorrow’s crunch Brexit vote.

Tulip Siddiq – a leading Remainer – has postponed the date of her caesarean section by two days so she can vote against the deal.

Rather than being in a labour ward in hospital in north London, she plans to be pushed through the division lobbies in a wheelchair by her husband Chris.

Revealing the drastic decision, she said: ‘If my son enters the world even one day later than the doctors advised, but it’s a world with a better chance of a strong relationship between Britain and Europe, then that’s worth fighting for.’

Tulip Siddiq (pictured in the Commons last month)  - a leading Remainer - has postponed the date of her caesarean section by two days so she can vote against the deal.

Tulip Siddiq (pictured in the Commons last month)  – a leading Remainer – has postponed the date of her caesarean section by two days so she can vote against the deal.

She added: ‘I am thinking about my child’s future when I made this decision – his future in the world. 

‘If it comes to an absolute emergency, I will of course prioritise the baby’s health.

‘I’m choosing in a sense between career and my family life and I feel it’s totally unfair and if we want more women in politics and we want people to come from different backgrounds, we need change and to introduce proxy voting.’

What is the pairing system and why have MPs lost faith in it?

Parliament has operated a pairing system for many years which allow those who are ill, pregnant, or cannot vote for another good reason.

These MPs are ‘paired’ with a politician from the opposing side, so that neither of them take part in the vote – therefore cancelling each other out. 

But faith in the system was dealt a major blow last summer when the Tories broke it.

Lib Dem Jo Swinson had been paired with Tory chairman Brandon Lewis so she did not have to leave her newborn baby at home to take part in the vote.

But Mr Lewis took part in the knife-edge vote on the customs union last night.

Number Ten insisted it had been a genuine mistake and that Theresa May apologised for it. 

But it sparked a major row and renewed calls for proxy voting to be introduced which would allow MPs to elect another person to vote on their behalf. 

Ms Siddiq, 36, Labour MP for Hampstead & Kilburn, had a difficult pregnancy with her first child Azalea, who is now two-years-old.

She had originally planned to have a caesarean section on February 4, but doctors advised she gives birth either today or tomorrow after she developed gestational diabetes.

But Ms Siddiq asked if she could delay the operation until Thursday and they have agreed.

She told the Evening Standard: ‘The Royal Free has been very clear on their legal and health duties. 

‘This is a high risk pregnancy and I am doing this against doctor’s advice.’   

Ms Siddiq spent the weekend in hospital under observation after having steroid injections to help accelerate development of the baby’s lungs.

Doctors had wanted these injections to be taken 48-hours before the caesarean, but that would still have meant she would have been in hospital at the time of the vote.

Under usual circumstances, heavily pregnant MPs can be ‘paired’ with an MP from the opposing side, so that neither of them take part in the vote – therefore cancelling each other out.

But Ms Siddiq said she could not trust the Tories to stick to the system after they broke a pairing deal in a crunch Brexit Commons vote last summer.

Lib Dem Jo Swinson had been paired with Tory chairman Brandon Lewis so she did not have to leave her newborn baby at home to take part in the vote.

But Mr Lewis took part in the knife-edge vote on the customs union last night.

Number Ten insisted it had been a genuine mistake and that Theresa May apologised for it. 

Ms Siddiq said the experience had sapped her trust in the pairing system.

In a speech in Stoke on Trent just 36 hours before the titanic Commons showdown, Theresa May (pictured in Stoke on Trent today) pleaded with MPs to consider the 'consequences' of their actions for people's faith in democracy

In a speech in Stoke on Trent just 36 hours before the titanic Commons showdown, Theresa May (pictured in Stoke on Trent today) pleaded with MPs to consider the ‘consequences’ of their actions for people’s faith in democracy

She said: ‘If the pairing system is not honoured, there’s nothing I can do, and it’s going to be a very close vote. I’ve had no pressure at all from the whips to come and vote but this is the biggest vote of my lifetime.

‘I’ve sat down with my husband Chris and he said to me this is my choice but that he would support me.’ 

The staunch Remainer lost her seat in Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench after voting against the introduction of Article 50 and she is campaigning for a second referendum. Her constituency voted 76 percent Remain.

The Commons’ Procedure Committee has researched how proxy voting could be introduced and a caucus of pregnant MPs are set to lobby the Speaker for this to be introduced in Parliament as soon as possible.