New Zealand’s parliamentary speaker has been praised on social media for cradling a lawmaker’s baby as he presided over a debate.

Trevor Mallard tweeted a photo of himself feeding MP Tamati Coffey’s newborn son while in the speaker’s seat on Wednesday.


He captioned the picture: “Normally the Speaker’s chair is only used by Presiding Officers but today a VIP took the chair with me. Congratulations @tamaticoffey and Tim on the newest member of your family.”

The images have since been shared and liked hundreds of times, with many commending Mr Mallard for taking on the babysitting duties.

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One Twitter user said: “New Zealand….you might be a small country, but you have a huge lesson to teach the world! Great photo!”

While another said: “This is something wonderful that is just a pleasure to see happening in our parliament.”

Mr Coffey’s son was born via a surrogate to him and his partner Tim Smith in July.

Other MPs also hailed Mr Coffey for bringing the baby into the parliament chamber and shared an image of him holding his son.

Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman tweeted: “Who needs to see this today? Every single last one of us, that’s who. Here’s a brand new papa holding his new born in our House of Representatives right now.”

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“Lovely to have a baby in the House, and what a beautiful one,” said fellow Green Party MP Gareth Hughes.

Last year, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern made history by becoming the first female world leader to bring her baby to the United Nations general assembly.

And in the UK, leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson cradled her baby on parliament’s green benches in January, in what was thought to be a first during a Commons debate.

Clarke Gayford (C) claps holding his daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, as his partner Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and National Security and Intelligence of New Zealand speaks during the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit September 24, 2018, one day before the start of the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York
While Jacinda Ardern delivered a speech at the UN last year, her partner Clarke Gayford held their baby

However not all countries have the same outlook about allowing babies in parliament.

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Kenyan politicians walked out in protest earlier this month over a decision to eject their colleague who was holding her five-month old baby during a session of the legislature.

Zuelekha Hassan Juma was ejected from the floor of the National Assembly with the child.

Christopher Omulele, temporary speaker of the National Assembly, said: “As much as she might want to take care of her child, this is not the place for it.”



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