There are a number of MPs right across the House who are expecting babies in the coming months and so I know that the issue of proxy voting is, quite rightly, of huge importance to many.
I profoundly believe that all new parents should be able to spend uninterrupted time with their new baby. That is vital both for the physical and mental wellbeing of parents and their babies. Working to give every baby the best start in life has been a passion of mine for many years, and I was delighted that the Prime Minister asked me to chair a cross-Government ministerial group last June to explore what more the Government can do to improve the effects that result from better support in this critical period of our lives.
I am absolutely committed to making progress on the issue of proxy voting, and I was truly delighted to be able to confirm to the House yesterday that a substantive motion on proxy leave in the case of maternity, paternity and adoption has been tabled for the House’s agreement on Monday 28th January.
This is a perfect example of how Parliament can work collaboratively to bring about important change, demonstrating the work of many colleagues, from all parties, who have been determined to see this happen. This is a really positive moment for many colleagues across the House.
I do hope that the House will be of the same opinion, and that it will fully support the motion next week to bring forward a pilot scheme for proxy voting.