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Norwich North MP Chloe Smith reveals she is going to have a baby

Chloe Smith and husband Sandy McFadzean.  Photo: Bill Smith

Chloe Smith and husband Sandy McFadzean. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

As the youngest MP in the House of Commons she once held the unofficial title of Baby of the House

Now Chloe Smith is set to join the ranks of MPs in the Palace of Westminster juggling the demanding job of making the laws of the land while looking after a tiny tot of her own.

The Norwich North MP has spoken of her and husband Sandy McFadzean’s joy as they announced they are expecting their first child in early October.

The 33-year-old, who has long spoken of the need for a family -friendly parliament, plans to take six months maternity leave, with her husband also hoping to take advantage of last parliament’s law change to allow men to share the right to take paid leave to care for the addition to their family.

“Sandy and I are absolutely delighted and just like any parents-to- be we are very excited,” she said.

“I will be making the necessary arrangements in the months to come to cover my parliamentary work and constituency work so there will continue to be services from my office for constituents and my neighbouring MP Keith Simpson will help with that.”

Ms Smith, who joined Parliament following the 2009 Norwich by-election, said it was vital there was a modern parliament to allow people from all walks of life to be MPs.

Since joining the House of Commons she has pushed for younger people to get involved in democracy and she said that it followed that with more young women and men holding the office of MP there would be more parliamentarians with young families.

“It makes sure you have the whole spectrum of experience in public life. It does mean that Parliament needs to be able to deal with it and have 
sensible working arrangements that can make sure that young parents are welcome. This is true both for young women and young men.”

The MP for Norwich North, who found out that she was pregnant just before being invited to Burma, said she had to seriously consider whether or not to go on the recent trip to help train the new parliamentarians. “I was very keen not to lose the opportunity but it did coincide with having to start taking better care of myself,” she said.

“I really do think that Parliament needs to get this right for MPs who are parents. If you want MPs from all walks of life in Parliament, which is obviously right, you need to make sure parents can be part of that.

“Whilst some progress has been made in modernising the way that parliament works, there is still a lot to do.

“I expect that it will be quite a 
challenge to keep up with living and working in two places and the other challenges that any parent would face. I am not afraid of a challenge.”

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Email annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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