Colchester MP Will Quince moved during debate on parents’ rights

Will Quince speaking in a debate on support for new parents whose have lost a baby

Will Quince speaking in a debate on support for new parents whose have lost a baby - Credit: Archant

Colchester MP Will Quince was visibly moved as the House of Commons passed a new law giving parents the right to compassionate leave from work after suffering the tragedy of stillbirth.

Mr Quince, whose son was stillborn full term in October 2014, said he would be “forever indebted” to his colleague Kevin Hollinrake from Thirsk and Malton for bringing forward the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill.

The private member’s bill, which has Government support, brings forward proposals previously moved by Mr Quince. Mr Hollinrake said the measure should be known as “Will’s Bill” after it won a Second Reading in the House of Commons unanimously.

It aims to create a legal entitlement to paid parental bereavement leave of at least two weeks.

Mr Quince praised Mr Hollinrake for agreeing to develop the measures despite various other campaigns and causes putting ideas before him.

He said: “For anybody that’s gone through the experience of child loss, you want to make sure that your child’s life – however short – meant something, that a difference was made because of it.”

Mr Quince’s voice cracked as he added: “You enabled that so I’m forever indebted to you. Thank you Kevin.”

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The Bill’s chances of success are heightened by the fact that it seeks to implement measures contained in the Conservative Party manifesto.

Prime Minister Theresa May earlier tweeted “well done” to Mr Quince, Mr Hollinrake and their Tory colleagues, Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury) and Victoria Prentis (Banbury), for their “hard work” in bringing forward the Bill.

Ms Sandbach, who lost her five-day-old son Sam in 2009, told the Commons: “This is a day that will change the lives of many, many parents and the research is clear – unfortunately – that parents do suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Responding to the debate, Business minister Margot James said the government would take account of the debate when it responded to a report it had commissioned from Matthew Taylor from the Royal Society of the Arts into future of employment laws across the United Kingdom.

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