[…]

24-year-old Samantha Corbridge was looking for work. As she is parent to a young child, she took herself and her two-year-old daughter to the Jobcentre. Reports The Argus:

But while she was there Robyn needed feeding and when Miss Corbridge took out the milk bottle she was asked to leave.

She told The Argus yesterday: “Robyn started crying, I was rocking her pram to try and calm her down.

“The staff told me I must keep her quiet because she was disrupting the other people and we were in a place of work.

“I apologised and said I thought she was hungry.

“I looked through my baby bag to get a bottle I had prepared for her and suddenly a member of staff rushed over and said: ‘You can’t give her that. It’s classed as food and drink so if you want to give it to her you’ll have to leave the premises’.

“As I took the milk off my daughter she started to scream, which made it even more difficult for me to take her outside. I felt humiliated.”

A Jobcentre spokesman has apologised, but surely the damage has been done. Young mothers should not be humiliated or challenged when they go to look for work, and Jobcentres should be set up to welcome and accomodate parents.

Via Harpymarx, who points out:

The rules and regulations are rigid and show no flexibility yet NL [New Labour] want people to find any old job but without giving good proper support especially for people with kids.

So here is a basic incentive, James Purnell, introduce free childcare to help women like Samantha.