Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Willott is to provide maternity cover for fellow Lib Dem Jo Swinson, who will go on leave this month to have her first child with husband Duncan Hames MP, also a Lib Dem.

Ms Willott, MP for Cardiff Central, will temporarily replace Ms Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire for the maternity leave.

A Government Whip since 2012, Ms Willott will take over as junior equalities minister as well as under secretary of state for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs.

Ms Swinson criticised those who said she was irresponsible to take time off to “procreate”, tweeting to say: “Do you think *all* Govt ministers shouldn’t ‘procreate’, or just the women?”.

An new initiative to help drive out homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in secondary schools was launched last week in an East London school by Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson, during Anti- Bullying Week.