Calls to allow maternity cover for MPs “divert attention” from the needs of other women, a Tory MP has said.
Kemi Badenoch – who is currently pregnant – said MPs who are mothers are treated well, adding: “We should not present ourselves as victims.”
It comes after Labour MP Stella Creasy said women are forced to choose between being an MP and a mum because of Parliament’s rules.
MPs do not automatically get paid cover if they take parental leave.
In January, MPs backed a year-long trial to allow MPs who were about to give birth or had recently become a parent to nominate another MP to vote on their behalf in the Commons.
But there is no official maternity cover available for their other duties.
However, MPs continue to be paid their full annual salary of £79,468 throughout their parental leave.
Walthamstow MP Ms Creasy, who is also pregnant, argued that without paid cover it would be “impossible” for her to fulfil her responsibilities to constituents once her baby is born.
When she approached Ipsa – the body which regulates MPs’ pay – about the issue, she said they told her “they don’t recognise that MPs go on maternity leave”.
Not a ‘bad deal’
Writing in the Times, Mrs Badenoch said Ms Creasy’s intervention was “hugely disappointing” and was “diverting attention away from those we should be helping”.
The MP for Saffron Walden – who is six months pregnant and had two children before becoming an MP – said she had “greater autonomy” while pregnant in her current role than in her previous careers.
“I would find it hard to claim to a constituent on the minimum wage that I have a bad deal,” she added.
Maternity rights for workers in the UK
Women are entitled to up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave.
They must take at least two weeks’ leave after the baby is born (or four weeks if they work in a factory).
They are eligible to be paid for six weeks at 90% of their average weekly earnings and 33 weeks at £149 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings (if lower).
Fathers can take two weeks’ statutory paternity leave at £149 a week.
Ms Badenoch argued it was “unrealistic” to have job shares or parental cover for MPs, as the replacement would not be able to vote on issues in parliament.
While she said she was “horrified” to hear about MPs working in the final stages of a difficult pregnancy or just after giving birth, she said there was “absolutely no compulsion to do this” and MPs should resist these “unreasonable pressures”.
She added that all MPs receive a budget of £150,000 for staffing costs and said this could be used to cover any period of absence by an MP.
Prime Minister Theresa May has urged Ipsa to “look very closely” at what further support could be provided, adding there was “much more to do” to make Westminster more family friendly.
Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt was among those to offer his support to Ms Creasy and called on Ipsa to “do the right thing”.
Lib Dem leadership hopeful Jo Swinson said Parliament should be “setting the standard” on maternity rights.
“If we want to take a lead on tackling this discrimination in the workplaces right across the country, we also need to get our own house in order,” the party’s deputy leader said.
Ipsa said it offered additional funding for MPs to cover absences. For this to be provided, it asks for an explanation of how the money would be spent.
The regulator said it supported allowing parental cover for MPs but that the change would need to be decided by Parliament.
“Ipsa would work closely with Parliament on any changes they wish to introduce and on providing the funding to support this,” a spokeswoman added.
The debate over Parliament’s rules was reignited when Labour MP Tulip Siddiq delayed a Caesarean section to attend a vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
In 2017, former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman called for MPs to be given six months’ maternity leave.
|ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Old Trafford|
|England 397-6 (50 overs): Morgan 148 (71), Bairstow 90 (99), Root 88 (82)|
|Afghanistan: Yet to bat|
|Scorecard; Table; Schedule|
England captain Eoin Morgan broke the record for sixes in a one-day international innings with an astonishing display of hitting in the World Cup match against Afghanistan.
Morgan hammered 17 sixes in his 148 off 71 balls on a riotous afternoon at Old Trafford.
His innings, allied to 90 from Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root’s 88, lifted England to 397-6, their highest World Cup total.
England’s tally of 25 sixes broke their own record for a team in an ODI – 24 against West Indies in Grenada this year.
Morgan, a doubt for this game because of a back spasm suffered on Friday, only arrived at the crease at the end of the 30th over when England were 164-2.
What followed was a brutal assault that turned fielders into spectators and spectators into fielders.
When Afghanistan dropped short, he heaved or swept the ball over the leg side, often into the massive temporary stand at Old Trafford.
When the ball was pitched up, he smashed it straight.
Morgan had one life, on 28, when Dawlat Zadran barely got a hand to a chance at deep mid-wicket.
After that, he pummelled 120 from 46 balls to the delight of a crowd who at one point were singing his name.
Morgan’s first fifty came from 36 balls and his second from 21. In the 14 balls he faced after reaching three figures, one of which got him out, he smashed 47.
When he was dismissed, caught at long-off, he received a handshake from bowler and opposite number Gulbadin Naib, then departed to a rapturous standing ovation.
Morgan’s tally beat the record of 16 sixes in an ODI innings jointly held by Chris Gayle, Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers.
Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to become manager of Serie A champions Juventus on a three-year deal.
Sarri, who joined the Blues from Napoli in July 2018, led them to third in the Premier League and won the Europa League in his one season in charge.
It is understood a compensation fee in excess of £5m has been agreed between the two clubs for the 60-year-old.
Sarri will replace fellow Italian Massimiliano Allegri, who left Juventus at the end of last season.
“In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.
“He also believed it important to be nearer his family, and for the well-being of his elderly parents he felt he needed to live closer to them at this point.”
Sarri signed a three-year deal last July but now becomes the ninth full-time manager to leave Chelsea under Roman Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003.
The Stamford Bridge club are unable to sign any players after being given a two-window transfer ban by world governing body Fifa – a decision they are appealing against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Sarri’s troubles at Chelsea
After earning glowing references for his tactics at Napoli, he looked to have effectively introduced ‘Sarri-ball’ to his new players as Chelsea started their Premier League campaign with a 12-game unbeaten streak.
But the Blues were out of title contention after losing three out of four Premier League games from January to February, including a 6-0 defeat at eventual champions Manchester City, which saw them slip to sixth in the table.
Chelsea then lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United in the FA Cup, when fans booed the Italian’s substitutions and joined in when the visiting supporters sang “you’re getting sacked in the morning”.
However, Sarri remained in charge – and of the 19 matches played after they were beaten on penalties in the Carabao Cup final by Manchester City, his side lost just two, as they won their first European trophy since securing the Europa League in 2012-13.
They also held off the challenge of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United to finish third in the league and clinch Champions League qualification.
|Competition||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals for||Goals against||Win %|
More to follow.
Arsenal have warned youth coach Alex Nichols after he was banned for three matches and fined £400 for verbally abusing a teenage female referee.
Nichols was initially banned for one game and fined £300 but this was increased at a second hearing after an appeal by the Football Association.
The incident happened at an under-nines match between Arsenal and Reading.
“At Arsenal we do not accept or tolerate behaviour of this nature,” said a statement from the Gunners.
Nichols had admitted a charge of improper language and/or behaviour towards the match referee during the game but denied using “abusive and/or insulting words” to the official following the match.
The published written reasons from the case detailed how the match referee said she was made to “feel humiliated, belittled and bullied” and was crying during the closing stages of the match.
She told Nichols she could not shake his hand after the final whistle because of his actions and he is alleged to have made a derogatory remark to her.
Nichols denied making the remark but the panel at the second hearing found the charge proven “on the balance of probabilities” and increased his punishment.
“We took appropriate action, suspending the coach immediately the allegation was brought to our attention,” added Arsenal’s statement.
“This was the first allegation of this nature in his long coaching career and he has been warned about his future conduct.”
Schools have been closed and hospital appointments cancelled due to a burst pipe that has left large parts of London with little or no water.
Thames Water said the fault at its works in Hampton had caused problems in the west and south-west areas.
It said it wanted to get people’s water back on “as soon as possible” but bottled water would be made available if the problem was not fixed soon.
The TW, KT and W postcodes have been affected.
Trafalgar Junior School in Twickenham, which has been left without flushing toilets and washing facilities in the kitchen, has sent children home.
Radnor House School in Twickenham also closed at 10:30 BST but exams were still taking place.
Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust said all planned clinics and sessions at Teddington Memorial Hospital and Teddington Health and Social Care Centre were cancelled.
The evening fixture at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey has also been abandoned because of the problem.
The racecourse tweeted there was “no estimated time of the water supply being restored today”.
A Thames Water statement said: “We’re sorry to anyone whose water supply has been affected by a burst on a large pipe at our water works in Hampton.
“A team of engineers is there investigating and we have more experts planning how to get water back on for our customers as soon as we possibly can.”
Tanya O’Connell, who lives in Twickenham, said the lack of water delayed her taking medication while she recovers at home following an operation last week.
The 37-year-old bank manager said her surgeon told her to take soluble pain relief, which she was meant to take at 08:00.
She said Thames Water “promised they would send someone with emergency stuff” but she had to eventually send her mother to the shop to buy water.
“It was difficult for her, she’s in her 60s with a bad leg… taking litres of water up the stairs,” Ms O’Connell said.
Midfielder Brianna Visalli and goalkeeper Becky Spencer are to leave West Ham United Women when their contracts expire at the end of June.
Visalli, 24, scored five goals in 30 appearances for the Hammers, coming off the bench in the Women’s FA Cup final defeat by Manchester City.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Spencer, 28, played 16 times in all competitions.
“I would have loved to have kept both but they have opted to pursue a new challenge,” said head coach Matt Beard.
BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.
A boy aged 16 has been arrested over a homophobic attack which left two women covered in blood after refusing to kiss on a bus.
Melania Geymonat, 28, said the attack on her and partner Chris happened on the top deck of a London night bus.
A group of young men began harassing them when they discovered the women were a couple, asking them to kiss while making sexual gestures.
Four other males aged between 15 and 18 remain in custody, the Met said.
They are being questioned on suspicion of robbery and aggravated grievous bodily harm.
Speaking about the attack, which happened in the early hours of 30 May, Ms Geymonat told BBC Radio 4’s World at One she had previously experienced “a lot of verbal violence”.
But she said she had never before been physically attacked because of her sexuality.
Asked whether the attack left her less willing to show affection in public, Chris, who lives in north London but is originally from the US, said: “I am not scared about being visibly queer.
“If anything, you should do it more.”
Ms Geymonat, who is a doctor but currently works for Ryanair as a stewardess, said she agreed.
Chris said: “I was and still am angry. It was scary, but this is not a novel situation.”
Over the five years to 2018, reported homophobic hate crimes across London have increased from 1,488 in 2014 to 2,308 in 2018, according to the Met Police’s crime dashboard.
Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd has been jailed for four more years for assaulting a barman with a bottle.
The 31-year-old pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court to attacking the former soldier in Newton Abbot, Devon, in March 2018.
Shepherd admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm over the attack, which involved a vodka bottle.
He is currently serving six years in prison for the killing of a woman in a speedboat crash on the River Thames.
He returned to the UK in April after going on the run to Georgia to avoid justice over the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown, 24.
Shepherd, whose address was given as Charles Street, Bristol, appeared before the court via video link.
The attack on David Beech at the White Hart Hotel happened shortly before Shepherd fled the country in March 2018.
The court was shown CCTV footage of Shepherd slamming a vodka bottle into Mr Beech’s head after he told Shepherd and a drunken friend to leave.
The barman had served in Afghanistan where he was shot in the head in 2014 and he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the court heard.
“Your assault undid in a matter of seconds the good progress he had made over the years,” said Judge David Evans, sentencing Shepherd.
Mr Beech said being hit by the bottle was “like a blow from a baseball bat”.
He had to be taken to hospital and his wound stitched and glued.
During the sentencing hearing, Shepherd appeared to sob and wipe tears from his face.
Ms Brown died in December 2015 when Shepherd took her on a date on his speedboat, a trial in July last year heard.
The pair were both thrown from the boat when it hit branches in the water near Wandsworth Bridge.
Ms Brown, from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, was found in the water unconscious and unresponsive, while Shepherd was discovered clinging to the upturned boat.
His trial was told that he was responsible for the speedboat, which had a series of serious defects, including to its steering.
He was jailed for an extra six months in April for fleeing the country.
The four-year jail sentence for attacking Mr Beech will run consecutively to his current jail terms.
Shepherd has been granted the right to appeal against his conviction for manslaughter.