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Ruth Kelly to quit Cabinet to spend time with family

(120 Posts)
Monkeytrousers Wed 24-Sep-08 09:33:06

"Mr Brown told Sky News: "She has got four children between five and 11. She felt, rightly, that the tension between having to work, being a constituency MP, being a minister, and having a family of four, that she wanted to spend that time as they grow up helping them through these challenging years."

spicemonster Wed 24-Sep-08 11:29:28

No she's not bundle. Don't really think that's relevant to the point - was just answering www's post about the difficulties of childcare in the summer holidays when you work full-time really

BlingLovin Wed 24-Sep-08 11:35:39

I think I'm going to get slammed as a weird psycho feminist but... but is anyone else slightly uncomfortable with Gordon Brown's "quite rightly"? What about all those male MPs with 4 children?

Not that I have an issue with her making this decision, I'm just wondering if the language, and response, would be the same if a man did this?

FioFio Wed 24-Sep-08 11:36:54

Message withdrawn

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 11:38:05

Ikwym Bling, I'm a feminist too. I doubt he'd have used it of a male MP but, otoh, we do all agree that it's a nightmare.

Mumsnet, can we ask Ruth Kelly on?

Peachy Wed 24-Sep-08 11:38:25

blinglovin I wondered about the quite right;y too

but had she been an asset no doubt it would have been sadly

batters Wed 24-Sep-08 11:38:53

good luck to her. I am envious of any parent that has the support network and the finances to be able to do this.

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 11:38:56


WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 11:40:25

(sorry for lowering the tone btw)
I just know the feeling

I say good luck to her too.

bundle Wed 24-Sep-08 11:41:21


I think an MP's job is incredibly demanding, my friend and her dh both work f/t and they used a mixture of playschemes, family help and playdates during the summer holidays. she was also on maternity leave for some of this and that helped too.

BlingLovin Wed 24-Sep-08 11:42:43

LOL www.

Yup, I see the thinking, I just find it slightly disturbing.

artichokes Wed 24-Sep-08 11:47:13

Its true that Parliament has long holidays but as a Cabinet Minister she would have continued to have a lot of work throughout those holidays. Now she is a back bench MP she will be able to take more advantage of the parlimaentary breaks and the parliamentary hours (which though unuusal are actually quite family friendly if you are London based).

Freckle Wed 24-Sep-08 11:52:24

She could be back in a few years. She only has to wait until her children are in their teens and then they don't actually want to spend quality time with their parents. Not cool, you see.

Sunshinetoast Wed 24-Sep-08 11:54:08

I'm not a big Ruth Kelly fan on policy, but she has my sympathy. I can completely see why she has decided enough's enough with being a Minister.

But she's not giving up full time work - she's giving up being a Minister. Being an MP is still a full time job - most of the ones I've known have worked more than a 70 hour week, but at least you have a bit more control over your time and what you do as a backbencher than as a Minister.

I would have thought it would be harder to be an MP with school age children than younger children. If you use a nanny then pre-schoolers can be moved from constituency to London and back again. Once they start school you have to decide whether they are based in the constituency (in which case you don't see them during the week), or in London (in which case your local party starts complaining that you are not living in the constituency, and either you don't see your kids at weekends or they complain that they never see their friends because they are always being dragged to the constituency.)

SunshineSmith Wed 24-Sep-08 11:55:30

She's been atrocious in every role she's been in Govertment. Ruth, glad to see you going back home. A bit of advice....experiment with new haircuts, not very succesful so far!

artichokes Wed 24-Sep-08 11:58:19

"Once they start school you have to decide whether they are based in the constituency (in which case you don't see them during the week)"

Sort of. Except the Commons doesn't sit on Monday mornings and never has whipped business on a Friday. Most MPs can leave their constituencies after their kids go to school on Monday and return late Thursday night. Its hard but it is not all week. This year Parliament had 18 full weeks of holiday and although MPs do some work during those weeks that is very largely constituency based (and not full time) and so they can see the kids alot then.

WendyWeber Wed 24-Sep-08 12:04:06

According to some news snippet I saw this morning, "a friend" says she actually resigned out of fury with GB over his speech...

cremolafoam Wed 24-Sep-08 12:08:46

jolly good

artichokes Wed 24-Sep-08 12:22:22

She must be pretty cross with Brown to resign the day after his speech. All the news is now focused on why she quit rather than what he said and how well it was received. Just when Labour were showing a united front her actions have hinted at deep divisions.

Pendulum Wed 24-Sep-08 12:31:43

The latest polls at the weekend projected her to lose her seat at the next election by a massive majority. Maybe she will focus more on her constituency now she is no longer SoS?

Re: "quite rightly", we had the same thing at work recently where the announcement that a female director was leaving to spend more time with her family contained the word "understandably". There were many comments at the time that men would not be approvingly waved off the premises in that way.

MadameCastafiore Wed 24-Sep-08 12:41:49

Ooohhh maybe she will have time to get her eyebrows waxed and nip to the hairdressers now! Always felt a bit odd putting my kids education in the hands of a woman who couldn't be arsed to slap on a bit of mascara in the morning!

(Tee Hee - I am shallow!)

artichokes Wed 24-Sep-08 12:43:44


Pendulum Wed 24-Sep-08 12:46:43

Yes, I've been thinking that the credit crunch could have been avoided if only Alastair Darling had got around to plucking his eyebrows [hmmm]

Are you a Daily Mail fan, MadameCastafiore?

MadameCastafiore Wed 24-Sep-08 12:50:48

Noooo Telegraph Vouchers - save a fortune getting your paper that way!

CatIsSleepy Wed 24-Sep-08 12:51:56

bling there was a male minister a while back that stepped down to spend more time with his family
cannot for the life of me remember who it was though

so that doens't help much though?

and I agree with all those who say life gets more complicated once children are at school...at least that's what I anticipate anyway
I would want to do some kind of shorter working day if possible when mine go to school
course it's not always possible

good luck to her i say
don't like her much (but that's by the by)

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 24-Sep-08 12:59:58

How come it has taken until the eldest is 11 and the youngest at school to realise she wanted to be at home?

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