AN MP has reassured her constituents that she will continue to fight for their interests as a working mother after announcing she is expecting her first baby.

North West Durham Labour MP Laura Pidcock told The Northern Echo that she and her partner are thrilled at the prospect of becoming parents in July

But the 30-year-old said she is anxious to reassure her constituents that she remains committed to her job and said she would work hard to balance the demands of politics and parenthood.

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She also spoke passionately about her new role as Shadow Labour Minister, a position she was offered after telling party leaders about the pregnancy last month.

“I want my constituents to know that, all things being well, I will be having a child in late July and I’m really happy about it,” said Miss Pidcock, who was elected in 2017.

“This last year has been a bit of a whirlwind. The overriding message I want to get out is that I now consider myself to have two important roles. I remain committed and passionate about politics but now I will have a child to think about and I will have to balance being a mum and an MP in what is quite an inflexible system.”

Miss Pidcock, who lives in Lanchester, has often made headlines since being elected, with her maiden speech in the House of Commons going viral. She has also faced criticism for claiming she could not be friends with a Conservative, and for buying her own home.

She said: “I’m a fighter and I will fight the sexism if it comes and I will fight the criticism if it comes. I didn’t let that many people know about the pregnancy before now because I didn’t want to have to fight something I feel very positive about.

"In a way it makes me cringe to make an announcement about it, because having a baby is a very normal thing to do, women have been having babies throughout history. I just wanted to reassure my constituents that I will still be there for them.”

Miss Pidcock said she was lucky to have a good support network, describing her partner of three years as “amazing” and “very-much a 21st century man.”

She also praised her team in London and North-West Durham, along with fellow Labour MPs and party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

She said: “It is really nice to work for somewhere where having a child does not preclude you from promotion, as this is something many women worry about.

“As part of my new role as Shadow Labour Minister I want to look at the politics around women at work, especially women in low paid work.”

MPs do not receive maternity leave, and Miss Pidcock hopes to return to work incrementally, working mainly within the constituency in the months following the birth and travelling to London for important votes. She has also backed Harriet Harman’s proposals for MPs with babies to be allowed to vote by proxy.

She said: “Just because an MP is pregnant or has a family shouldn’t mean they should be taken out of the system and unable to vote.”