A Labour MP has been criticised for calling for extra taypayer funds to help MPs pay for childcare during the special sitting of Parliament on Saturday.
Chris Bryant, who has previously announced he intends to run for Speaker after John Bercow stands down, said the vote is “very inconvenient” for those with families.
Speaking in the Commons on Friday, Mr Bryant said the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which allocates MPs salaries and expenses, should provide more funding for childcare.
“I make no argument against us sitting on Saturday but it is very inconvenient for many people who have families,” he said.
So #Labour MP Chris Bryant has stated MPs should be given financial help to pay for childcare because they have to attend the House of Commons on a Saturday.— Cllr Liam Walker (@_Liam_Walker_) October 18, 2019
Surely they can just about cover this with their £79k salary? 3 Saturdays in 70 years and MPs ask for financial help.. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/NnPBGtmtBK
“Unfortunately the nursery is not able to be open to make sure there is childcare provided for honourable members.
“Would it not be incumbent upon Ipsa to make financial provisions so that the costs of childcare can at least be met for members?”
Shortly after the speech, Conservative councillor Liam Walker tweeted a clip saying: “So #Labour MP Chris Bryant has stated MPs should be given financial help to pay for childcare because they have to attend the House of Commons on a Saturday.
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“Surely they can just about cover this with their £79k salary? 3 Saturdays in 70 years and MPs ask for financial help.”
Former MP George Galloway also tweeted: “After 3 years of time-wasting on #Brexit Labour MP Chris Bryant just demanded in parliament that the taxpayer pay Child-Care expenses to MPs called in to just the 3rd Saturday sitting in 70 years.
“In one intervention he summed up the entitled other-worldliness of this parliament.”
The basic annual salary for an MP is £79,468. MPs also receive expenses to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff, having somewhere to live in London or their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency.
He later told WalesOnline In response to the comments, Mr Bryant said: "People may not be aware that I have no children myself so I was not seeking anything for myself.
“There is normally a nursery in Parliament which is paid for by MPs.
"Sadly it cannot be open today. I have always campaigned for free childcare for all as they have in Sweden and am proud parents in Wales now have 30 hours of free childcare a week for three and four-year-olds.
"I have also campaigned for additional protections for all our emergency workers.
"All I was seeking was that MPs who have childcare responsibilities should not be disadvantaged compared to other MPs.
"I also believe that good employers should provide high quality childcare for their staff".