I beg to move,
That this House
has considered supporting fathers in early parenthood.
As always, Mr Davies, it is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship. I hope you will forgive me if I make any minor procedural errors; it has been a while since I have been on the Back Benches of the Westminster Hall Chamber, rather than closer to the wise counsel of the Chair.
I begin with two quick disclaimers. First, although my debate is about supporting fathers in early parenthood, I am extremely conscious that there is still much to do to combat inequality during maternity. I am an avid follower of Maternity Action and support many of its campaigns, some of which I know are making good progress. Secondly, this debate is not meant as a dismissal of the wonderful mums out there who are single or in same-sex couples. It is not about mums versus dads, nor am I pontificating only about married parents—not least because that would make me a hypocrite. I simply want to speak up for the many brilliant dads out there who, in an evolving society, are doing an incredible job of bringing up children. I want to highlight some of the real challenges that they too face.