Lisa Chesters’ crying baby Charlie sparks uproar in Australian Parliament

Crying baby sparks uproar in Parliament after an MP brought her adorable son Charlie to her seat – only for another MP to be heckled for upsetting the little boy

  • Labor MP Lisa Chesters brought her 16-month-old son to Parliament for a vote
  • Restless toddler was climbing on benches and slipped before she caught him
  • Her neighbour Sam Rae was blamed for Charlie crying over the clumsy mishap
  • MPs yelled ‘what did you do to him?’ and then to sit down as he tried to leave

A restless baby has caused a scene in Parliament when a politician sparked uproar by appearing to make the little boy cry.

Labor MP Lisa Chesters brought her 16-month-old son Charlie into the House of Representatives during a vote on the climate change bill on Thursday.

Charlie wriggled around in his mum’s lap, climbing on the benches either side and tugging at Ms Chesters’ mask as they waited for a vote to be counted.

Ms Chesters’ neighbour Sam Rae tried to entertain the increasingly bored child but as Charlie tried to climb on to the bench in front his hand slipped and he fell slightly towards Mr Rae before his mum pulled him back up.

As the little boy let out a loud cry, the rest of the chamber heckled Mr Rae with shouts of ‘what did you do to him, Sam?’ 

The mortified MP stood up with his hands raised to flee the scene, but this only increased the heckling as he was told to sit down.

MPs are not allowed to leave their seats when a vote has started, which Mr Rae as a newly elected member may not have remembered.

Speaker Milton Dick scolded Mr Rae, Charlie settled down quickly, and the vote on one of many proposed amendments continued smoothly.

Charlie was earlier seen being read That’s Not My Elf… by Early Childhood Education Minister Anne Aly, fittingly, while Ms Chesters held him still.

‘How awesome is Minister for Early Childhood Education, Dr Anne Aly MP? Voting for Labor’s Climate Change Bill whilst reading to little Charlie,’ Ms Chesters later tweeted.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese promised a more ‘family friendly’ Parliament with late nights curtailed and children welcome at some times.

Charlie was earlier seen being read That’s Not My Elf… by Early Childhood Education Minister Anne Aly (right), fittingly, while his mother Lisa Chesters (left) held him still

Charlie was earlier seen being read That’s Not My Elf… by Early Childhood Education Minister Anne Aly (right), fittingly, while his mother Lisa Chesters (left) held him still

The House was at the time voting on an amendment by Greens leader Adam Bandt to increase the climate bill’s 43 per cent emissions reduction to 75 per cent.

Mr Bandt argued the goal was too soft and would not make enough of an impact on climate change.

‘If you think what we are seeing now is bad with the fires and the floods, Labor’s targets mean twice as worse,’ he said.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said the government would not support the amendment as it took the 43 per cent target to the election and had a mandate for it.

The bill eventually passed the House 89 votes to 55, without the Greens’ amendment, and will go to the Senate later on Thursday.

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