Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House.

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Our cross-party Early Day Motion tabled today - Government must abolish unfair tribunal time limit and end pregnancy discrimination. 54,000 pregnant women forced from work each year:

That this House notes the key findings of research funded by the Department for Business,  Energy and Industrial Strategy and undertaken by the Equality and Human Rights  Commission that some 54,000 women per year are forced out of work by pregnancy or  maternity discrimination, and that three out of four working mothers endure negative or discriminatory treatment at work; further notes that four out of five women who responded  to a recent survey by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the  Maternal Mental Health Alliance experienced at least one episode of a mental health  problem during or after their pregnancy; is concerned that, due to a lack of free legal advice,  the prohibitive cost of employment tribunal fees and a restrictive time limit of three  months, fewer than one per cent of the women affected by pregnancy or maternity  discrimination bring an employment tribunal claim; welcomes the clear recommendations  by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and both the Justice Committee and Women and Equalities Committee that the time limit for pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims be increased to six months; and calls on the Government to demonstrate its very welcome commitment to tackling such unlawful discrimination by acting on this recommendation at the earliest possible opportunity. 

Sponsors: Caroline Lucas MP, Jo Swinson MP, Harriet Harman MP, Alison Thewliss MP, Jess Phillips MP, Liz Saville Roberts MP

You can view an up to date list of all the MPs who have signed to support our EDM here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/15

 

 

Government must end pregnancy discrimination - our cross-party EDM

Our cross-party Early Day Motion tabled today - Government must abolish unfair tribunal time limit and end pregnancy discrimination. 54,000 pregnant women forced from work each year: That this House notes...

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Everyone is horrified by the Grenfell Tower fire and heartbroken for the families of those who lost their lives or are missing and for all those who've lost their homes.  But there is an additional worry for tenants and leaseholders in the 100s of flats in the dozens of high-rise blocks in my constituency of Camberwell and Peckham about whether they are safe.

The Grenfell fire brought back horrible memories of the tragic fire in Lakanal House where 3 women and 3 children died.  Both Lakanal and Grenfell Tower had been built so that if there was a fire it would remain contained in the flat where it started but not spread.  Both blocks had had refurbishment.  And in both blocks a fire which started in one flat spread.  In both blocks the fire brigade orders were for residents to stay in their flats.  In both blocks that meant that when the fire spread people lost the chance to escape. 

The Coroner who conducted the inquest into the 6 Lakanal deaths pointed out that the improvements had damaged the fire safety measures, that after the improvements the block should have been inspected and that once the fire was spreading the fire brigade advice should have been not “stay put” but “leave immediately”.

So it was appalling to see history repeat itself, the lessons not learnt and the scale of the loss of life so much greater.

Clearly the rulings from the Lakanal inquest in 2013 and prosecution in 2017 had not been acted on.

Last Thursday I spoke in Parliament in response to the statement by Fire Minister, Nick Hurd MP and called on the Government to:

*give councils the resources they need to increase their fire inspections, supervise contractors working on improvements and install sprinklers.

*review and update the building regulations.

*award Legal Aid to the residents so that their voice can be heard in the public inquiry.  The Fire Service and the council will have QCs - at public expense.  It will be a travesty if the residents, who had to run for their lives, just have to sit in the public gallery.

*ensure that the Grenfell Tower residents are rehoused in the area and that problems with their bank, insurance and ID documents are sorted.

*make sure that hospitals and ermgency services have enough resources to deal with the survivors.

*provide the money to ensure survivors are rehoused in the area, not sent miles away.

The community response has been fantastic, but as in Lakanal, Grenfell survivors have fled their flats with nothing - no bank cards, no ID. They need help if they are to be able to go back to work or travel. Charities have been wonderful but the government must step in. 

Southwark Council’s responded swiftly after the Grenfell Tower fire, writing to tenants and leaseholders about fire safety. I’ve asked Council Leader Peter John to bring together residents from the high-rise blocks in my constituency to hear any concerns and update them on refurbishments, cladding, fire instructions and inspections.  I’ve asked Southwark Fire Brigade and King’s College Hospital if they need more resources.  Kings have taken 12 Grenfell casualties and are still caring for victims of the London Bridge attack. 

It’s not true, as some are saying, that Labour and Tory governments are all the same on social housing.  The last Labour government invested billions in council homes but with the Tories it’s all cuts. Councils want to improve fire safety, but the Tories have cut their budgets by half since 2010, making it harder to supervise contractors or install sprinklers. This Government is responsible for the safety of people in public housing and cuts cost lives. 

I will continue to press the Government and work with Southwark Council to ensure everyone is safe from fire.

Government must do more to ensure tenants in tower blocks are safe - SN Column

Everyone is horrified by the Grenfell Tower fire and heartbroken for the families of those who lost their lives or are missing and for all those who've lost their homes. ...

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Following the horrific attack on worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque on Monday 19 June, I have written today to the Imams of Peckham Islamic Centre, New Peckham Mosque, Camberwell Islamic Centre, BECA Masjid and the Old Kent Road Mosque to express my sympathy and to urge anyone who experiences Islamophobia to report it to the police immediately. Full text of my letter:

Dear Imam,

I am so dismayed to be writing to you again following a terrorist attack. My thoughts are with everyone affected by the Finsbury Park Mosque attack and with all those who pray at your mosque. 

This was a horrific attack on innocent people observing Ramadan. I want to assure you that we will not tolerate this and I’m sure the police will bring the perpetrators to justice.

Southwark Police have told me that following the attack, dedicated ward officers will be visiting mosques in the borough each day to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan. If you, or any of those who worship at your mosque experience harassment, I urge you to report it to the police as soon as possible.

This is no doubt an extremely difficult time for the whole community. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns you have or issues you want to raise.

Best wishes,

Harriet Harman

Letter to local mosques following Finsbury Park terror attack

Following the horrific attack on worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque on Monday 19 June, I have written today to the Imams of Peckham Islamic Centre, New Peckham Mosque, Camberwell Islamic Centre,...


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