Danish politician kicked out of Parliament after bringing baby daughter to work 2 years ago

Danish politician kicked out of Parliament after bringing baby daughter to work

"You are unwanted in the Folketing Hall with your child."

A Danish politician was told to leave Parliament this week after bringing her baby daughter to work.

Advertisement

Mette Abildgaard was asked to remove her daughter, Esther Marie, from the chambers on Tuesday when speaker Pia Kjaersgaard said her presence was "unwanted" with the child.

Lawmaker Abildgaard said she hadn't asked whether she was permitted to bring her daughter to Parliament because she had seen other parents do so without issue in the past.

She wrote on Facebook that she hadn't planned to bring her daughter to work, but discovered last minute that she was needed to vote.

"'You are unwanted with your child in the folketing!'- this is how the message sounded today to Esther Marie and I from the president of the folketing Pia Kjaersgaard," she said.

"The situation was in every way extraordinary (...) But I took her to the hall, because she was in a nice mood and had a pacifier in her mouth. Had agreed with my sweet secretary that she would come if (my daughter) made the least noise. Because of course we shouldn't disturb the meeting!

"I did not ask if I could take her with me, since I have seen another colleague in the chamber with no problems. I am not aware that there are written rules about it, and we usually make things work."

Advertisement

Abildgaard said that she would now face another day away from Esther Marie as she awaits negotiations - she also said that she accepts this because it is her job, but that she expects at least some form of flexibility.

"I am actually entitled to a year's maternity leave with full salary from Parliament," she said.

"I did not wish to take advantage of that, I would like to go back and serve democracy. But you may need a minimum of flexibility with a daughter of five months - I was not met by today."

Abildgaard later thanked the MP officer who took care of her daughter while she re-entered the chambers.

Advertisement

Her posted has been widely shared on Facebook, with almost 7,000 people reacting to it online.