Women in Politics with Children not Prioritized, Says Bethan Sayed
Working in politics is unhealthy and almost impossible for women with children, a former MP claimed.
Jenny Willott, a former Liberal Democrat Cardiff MP, worked up to 100 hours a week, which she said would be “really tough” for a mother.
Bethan Sayed, a former Plaid Cymru MS, said women with children are “not prioritised” in the current system.
The comments come after SNP MP Mhairi Black said Westminster has a “sexist, toxic and outdated”, work environment.
Ms Black, who was elected aged 20 in 2015 and is now the SNP’s deputy leader at Westminster, has announced she will not contest the next election.
Speaking to BBC Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement, Ms Sayed said: “It’s really unfortunate that Mhairi Black is leaving, a woman with passion, values, always speaks her mind. Westminster will be lost without her.”
“I can see where Mhairi is coming from, but I hope to see her at Holyrood (the Scottish Parliament) and leading the party someday,” added Ms Sayed.
She said the culture at the Senedd, where she worked from 2007 to 2021, could become “toxic” when divisive political issues were discussed.
‘Not a normal work environment’
“We are supposed to have family friendly hours but really it’s not like that if you want to do your job as well as possible,” she added.
Ms Willott, who was an MP from 2005 to 2015, said: “There is something not very healthy about the culture in Westminster, the long hours, quite a lot of alcohol for a lot of people.
“It’s not a normal work environment.”