Kemi Badenoch accuses Tulip Siddiq of delaying her caesarean to ‘make a point’ on Brexit

Pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq was wheeled into the Commons to vote in last night’s crunch showdown after being accused of delaying her caesarean to ‘make a point’ on Brexit.  

Ms Siddiq, 36, revealed on Monday that she had decided to go against doctors orders and delay the delivery of her unborn son so she could vote against the PM’s Brexit deal.

And she was seen being pushed through the division lobbies in a wheelchair to take part in the historic vote.

The MP, who has a two-year-old daughter Azalea, decided to travel to Parliament after losing faith in the system which allows pregnant women to be ‘paired’ with an MP from an opposing side so neither votes.

But appearing on TV yesterday, Tory MP Kemi Badenoch said she thinks MS Siddiq made the decision to prove a point to her pro-Remain constituency ‘irrespective of pairing’.

Her comments were lashed by Labour MPs who accused Ms Badenoch of making a ‘scurrilous slur’ and ‘appalling smear’.

Tulip Siddiq, pictured in the wheelchair, delayed the cesarean birth of her son to attend last night's historic Brexit vote

Tulip Siddiq, pictured in the wheelchair, delayed the cesarean birth of her son to attend last night's historic Brexit vote

Tulip Siddiq, pictured in the wheelchair, delayed the cesarean birth of her son to attend last night’s historic Brexit vote

Pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq (circled) was wheeled into the Commons to vote in last night's crunch showdown after being accused of delaying her caesarean to 'make a point' on Brexit

Pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq (circled) was wheeled into the Commons to vote in last night's crunch showdown after being accused of delaying her caesarean to 'make a point' on Brexit

Pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq (circled) was wheeled into the Commons to vote in last night’s crunch showdown after being accused of delaying her caesarean to ‘make a point’ on Brexit

Tory politician Kemi Badenoch (pictured on the BBC's Politics Live show yesterday) accused pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq of delaying the caesarean birth of her child to 'make a point' about Brexit

Tory politician Kemi Badenoch (pictured on the BBC's Politics Live show yesterday) accused pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq of delaying the caesarean birth of her child to 'make a point' about Brexit

Tory politician Kemi Badenoch (pictured on the BBC’s Politics Live show yesterday) accused pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq of delaying the caesarean birth of her child to ‘make a point’ about Brexit

Ms Badenoch was asked on the BBC’s Politics Live show about Ms Siddiq’s decision and whether it shows that Parliament should introduce proxy voting.

She said: ‘I have heard her speak on this issue privately before, and I think irrespective of pairing I think she wants to make a point that she is doing this for her constituents.

‘She represents a very strong Remain constituency and she wants to show that she did everything she could to stop Brexit. I think that is what this is about.’

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 on Monday 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. 

And she said that if the predictions that Mrs May’s Brexit deal will be defeated by a landslide of up to 200 prove true then Ms Siddiq’s vote will make no difference anyway.

She said: ‘If what we are hearing is true and there are hundreds and hundreds of people voting against it [Theresa May’s deal] that one vote is not really going to make a difference.

‘I hope it is not going to be anything like that but that is the reality.’  

But her comments sparked a ferocious backlash from MPs 

Labour MP Diana Johnson said: ‘This is a very mean thing to say and Tulip Siddiq is having to make a point because of the cruel decisions of a male dominated Government whips office. Let’s get that straight please.’

Labour MP Jo Stevens demanded to know if Ms Badenoch spoke to Ms Siddiq before making the claim on live television.

While Labour MP Stephen Doughty accused her of making an ‘appalling smear’ and Labour MP  Sharon Hodgson said it was a ‘scurrilous slur’.

Ms Siddiq was advised by her doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in north London to have her caesarean last night after she developed gestational diabetes.

But she decided to defy doctors orders and delay the operation to have her son so that she could vote against the PM’s Brexit plan last night.

She said that she had lost faith in the pairing system after the Tories broke the pact when one of their MPs was paired with Lib Dem Jo Swinson in another key Brexit vote last summer.

And she called for the parliamentary authorities to change the rules introduce proxy voting so that heavily pregnant MPs like her can ask another MP to vote on their behalf.

Revealing the drastic decision, she told he Evening Standard ‘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 with her daughter Azalea) wants pregnant women and new mothers to have proxy voting rights

Tulip Siddiq (pictured with her daughter Azalea) wants pregnant women and new mothers to have proxy voting rights

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

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

Tulip Siddiq (pictured with her daughter Azalea) is delaying the birth of her child so she can take part in today’s crunch Brexit vote

The comments from Tory MP Kemi Badenoch sparked a furious backlash from Labour politicians 

The comments from Tory MP Kemi Badenoch sparked a furious backlash from Labour politicians 

The comments from Tory MP Kemi Badenoch sparked a furious backlash from Labour politicians 

Labour MPs rallied round their colleague Tulip Siddiq and said it was cruel that she had been forced to pick between voting and her caesarean 

Labour MPs rallied round their colleague Tulip Siddiq and said it was cruel that she had been forced to pick between voting and her caesarean 

Labour MPs rallied round their colleague Tulip Siddiq and said it was cruel that she had been forced to pick between voting and her caesarean 

Labour MPs accused the Tory politician of being mean to mother-of-one Tulip Siddiq

Labour MPs accused the Tory politician of being mean to mother-of-one Tulip Siddiq

Labour MPs accused the Tory politician of being mean to mother-of-one Tulip Siddiq

Another Labour MP said the comments by Kemi Badenoch amounted to a smear against her parliamentary colleague

Another Labour MP said the comments by Kemi Badenoch amounted to a smear against her parliamentary colleague

Another Labour MP said the comments by Kemi Badenoch amounted to a smear against her parliamentary colleague

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 on Monday night.

Number 10 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.

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.’     

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