Responding to news of the baby leave motion passed unopposed in parliament today Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said:

“This change will be transformational for MPs and for parliament. It is essential for the modernisation of our democracy that we put basic things such as baby leave in place. Now we need to do the same for local councillors.”

“The Procedure Committee must act quickly to implement the will of the House so that we can begin to bring the Commons in to the 21st century.”

The motion, tabled by Harriet Harman and Maria Miller, says:

That this House believes that it would be to the benefit of the functioning of parliamentary democracy that honourable members who have had a baby or adopted a child should for a period of time be entitled, but not required, to discharge their responsibilities to vote in this House by proxy.

No one opposed the motion and it was passed by acclamation. The Commons procedure committee will now investigate, with a view to coming up with proposals to be formally adopted by MPs.