MP calls for Commons stressbusters

An MP has called for counselling to made available to politicians to help
them cope with the increasing stresses and strains of being a legislator.

Jean Corston, chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, told political
website ePolitix that Parliament could do more to improve its working hours and
stop MPs becoming lonely and depressed.

"Parliament, with its weird hours, can sometimes make a bad situation
much worse," she said.

"I don’t see a way round that but I do think there’s an argument for
counselling provision which is in no way stigmatised and which obviously would
have to be entirely confidential."

Parliament, with its many late night sittings and long hours has long been
criticised for its working practices.

The arrival of more women MPs had made the Commons more family-friendly although
there was still a long way to go, she added. The Palace of Westminster operates
a voucher scheme for childcare but does not offer a childcare facility itself.

"There is now much more readiness to accept that sometimes people do
have to put family first when they are working here, and that’s accepted,"
she concluded.

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