October 03, 2019
Labour’s Stella Creasy has advertised for the UK’s first ever ‘locum MP’ as cover while she’s on maternity leave.
Stella Creasy Advertises For UKs First Ever Locum MP To Cover Maternity Leave
The role – due to last seven months – will be “rooted in Walthamstow not Westminster”, the ad published on Thursday read. 
Rather than representing Creasy in parliament, the successful candidate will attend constituency surgeries, campaign on her behalf and keep residents “updated on Brexit”. 
“Locum cover is about ensuring the casework, campaigns and community concerns of the residents of this special area are not neglected for six months,” the advert said. The successful candidate will be paid £50,000 pro rata. 
In parliament – after MPs unanimously backed calls for a trial proxy voting scheme in January – Creasy will be able to choose an MP to vote on her behalf. 
Before this trial, MPs on parental leave were ‘paired’ with absent opposition politicians so their lack of vote was balanced out – a highly criticised scheme which saw Labour MP Tulip Siddiq delay giving birth over fears her vote in a key Brexit ballot would not be counted. 
Speaking to the Times about hiring a constituency locum, Creasy said she wanted her case to be seen as a “pilot scheme” by IPSA, the body which pays MPs. 
“If the place that makes the law doesn’t recognise the value of ensuring cover for the duties of MPs, then how can it advocate for the millions of parents across the country worried that if they take time out to care for newborn children they will suffer?” the influential backbencher told the newspaper. 
In a statement in June, IPSA said it provides additional funding for all MPs’ offices to cover absences.  So not really sure its the best week to encourage people to apply to fill in for me, but I'll be appointing the first ever Locum MP to cover my maternity leave this autumn to look after Walthamstow. If that sounds like you, details here (read carefully!) https://t.co/b1lZF0K9th— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) October 3, 2019In a tweet on Thursday, Creasy said: “So not really sure its the best week to encourage people to apply to fill in for me, but I’ll be appointing the first ever Locum MP to cover my maternity leave this autumn to look after Walthamstow.” 
It comes after the heavily pregnant MP – who has suffered two miscarriages – was targeted by anti-abortion activists from the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK. 
Protestors staged a march at the weekend and posted graphic adverts, which included Creasy’s face and a dead baby, on a billboard, bus stops, and a phone box around Walthamstow.
Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, Creasy said she and her constituents had been the victim of “a campaign of intimidation and harassment”.Related... John Bercow Blasts 'Vile' Anti-Abortion Billboards Aimed At Pregnant MP Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Hits Out At 'Vile' Anti-Abortion Billboards Targeting Her In Walthamstow
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