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Tory MP Suggests New Mothers Can't "Handle" Being Cabinet Ministers

Andrew Rosindell said Labour's Rachel Reeves might not be able to give the job her "full attention".

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John Stillwell / PA Archive

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell has suggested that new mothers should not be cabinet ministers.

Rachel Reeves, who is pregnant with her second child, is set to become work and pensions secretary if Labour takes power on 8 May. She is due to have her baby just five weeks later and plans to take maternity leave until September.

But Rosindell, the MP for Romford, doesn't seem to think that would be a good idea. He told the Daily Mail: "I don't want to say someone who is having a baby is not eligible to be a cabinet minister, but I certainly think perhaps the demands of that particular job will require someone to give it their full attention.

"I don't expect Rachel Reeves to be in the cabinet after the election because I expect the Conservatives to win, but clearly people need to be put in the positions they can handle."

David Cameron immediately distanced himself from the remark. His spokesman said the prime minister believed it was "entirely a matter for individual families to take the decisions that they think are right for them".

Reeves blasted Rosindell for being out of touch.

300,000 women a yr take maternity leave but @AndrewRosindell thinks can't do big job & be a mum. Tory women problem? http://t.co/jX6rkG0FlJ

Rachel Reeves@RachelReevesMPFollow

300,000 women a yr take maternity leave but @AndrewRosindell thinks can't do big job & be a mum. Tory women problem? http://t.co/jX6rkG0FlJ

3:23 PM - 23 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

And her shadow cabinet colleague Chuka Umunna weighed in too.

1/2 Patronising and out of touch comments from Tory MP Andrew Rosindell with regards to @RachelReevesMP taking maternity leave today.

Chuka Umunna@ChukaUmunnaFollow

1/2 Patronising and out of touch comments from Tory MP Andrew Rosindell with regards to @RachelReevesMP taking maternity leave today.

3:31 PM - 23 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

2/2 How can we encourage more women to get involved in politics when Andrew Rosindell makes comments like that!? Very poor form.

Chuka Umunna@ChukaUmunnaFollow

2/2 How can we encourage more women to get involved in politics when Andrew Rosindell makes comments like that!? Very poor form.

3:33 PM - 23 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

BuzzFeed News contacted Rosindell to see if he had any further comments but he has yet to get in touch.

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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