Harriet Harman

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

Current News

The local hospital in my constituency, King’s College Hospital, has one of the busiest and best A&E departments in London.

Staff are working hard every day to provide excellent care, and are consistently meeting cancer treatment waiting times of 62 days and improving intensive care, despite the pressure inflicted by Tory cuts.

I recently met with the Chief Executive of King’s, Nick Moberly. He told me significant work is underway to improve homecare for people after operations, increase the number of beds available and streamline the linkup between different emergency departments.

King’s do an excellent job with the limited money they have and recently took on the running of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and its A&E department, which is being turned around under their management.

This year has been particularly hard for the staff at King’s. On top of the deep Tory cuts all hospitals face, staff at King’s have been through the unprecedented trauma of looking after 23 victims of the Westminster and Borough Market terror attacks and 12 victims of the horrific Grenfell Tower fire, and have demonstrated the utmost calmness, professionalism and care.

But King’s are not immune from funding pressures, and these have led to difficulties in meeting the 4 hour waiting target for treating people in A & E. Across London – district nurses have halved under the Tory government and inevitably it’s been nurses in emergency care who have to pick up the slack when they aren’t there.

More than 40% of newly recruited nurses are leaving full time employment within their first year and the overall number of nurses and health visitors is now lower than when the Tories entered government in 2010.

King’s have worked hard to reduce their staffing shortage, but the hospital are still short of 528 nurses and midwives.

According to the Royal College of Nursing, the main reasons nurses are leaving the job they love are rising workload and staff shortages.

The Tories fail to acknowledge that it is dedicated hospital workers, doctors, and nurses who deliver the NHS. Instead of paying them fairly the government has made them bear the brunt of their cuts, enforcing a 1% pay cap which has cut the value of nurses’ wages by 14% since 2010.

The Tories’ own figures show the number of nurses quitting because of worries about their finances or their health has doubled. This crisis is all of the government’s making.

NHS staff need to be paid fairly, not least to ensure they can afford to rent or buy homes near the hospital they work in. What does it say about the government’s priorities that in the Budget last month they could only find £350 million to help the NHS cope with the winter crises and made no commitment on staff pay?

Yet they were able to find 11 times that amount to spend on a disastrous ‘no deal Brexit’ which will only further hit NHS staffing levels as EU citizens, who make up 14% of the NHS workforce in London, are put off coming here.

NHS Staff Need To Be Paid Fairly

The local hospital in my constituency, King’s College Hospital, has one of the busiest and best A&E departments in London. Staff are working hard every day to provide excellent care,...

 

It was great to meet booksellers and book lovers from all around the country at the Parliamentary Book Awards last night. It has been a joy to work with the Penguin Books team. Thank you to the Booksellers and Publishers Associations for hosting this amazing event.

Parliamentary Book Awards 2017: 'A Woman's Work' - Best Memoir By A Parliamentarian

  It was great to meet booksellers and book lovers from all around the country at the Parliamentary Book Awards last night. It has been a joy to work with the...

This morning I met with the Chief Executive of King’s College NHS Trust, Nick Moberly to discuss the provision of local health services at King's College Hospital.

We discussed efforts to improve the experience of people being safely transferred home after operations and to improve the linkup between different emergency departments. We also talked about the current shortage of midwives and nurses facing King’s College Hospital.

Nick and the local NHS Trust are doing all they can to improve care despite deep NHS cuts. I will continue to liaise closely with them on local health issues and press the Government to provide the NHS with the money it so desperately needs.

Visit to King's College Hospital

This morning I met with the Chief Executive of King’s College NHS Trust, Nick Moberly to discuss the provision of local health services at King's College Hospital. We discussed efforts...

HARRIET HARMAN REPORTS ON HER ETHIOPIA VISIT:  “DONALD TRUMP’S ABORTION LAW WILL COST THE LIVES OF ETHIOPIAN WOMEN"

After meeting Ethiopian women MPs and students and visiting hospitals, clinics and refugee camps to look at abortion, contraception and maternal health, Harriet Harman MP says that Trump’s executive order to stop US money going to abortion services will cost the lives of women. 

As one of his first acts as President, Donald Trump committed the US to the “Mexico City Policy”. This prohibits any US Federal funds going to non-governmental organisations that provide abortion counselling or referrals, advocate to decriminalise abortion, or expand abortion services. As an organisation working on sexual and reproductive health and providing advice and facilities for abortion and contraception in 37 countries around the world, Marie Stopes International is facing cuts of £30m, 17% of their total income.

In her report published today, ‘Ethiopia: Women’s Rights are Human Rights’, Harman says that Marie Stopes International being forced to cut back their work because of the loss of US Government money will mean:

  • 88,467 more unplanned pregnancies in Ethiopia
  • 27,425 more abortions 
  • 15,822 more unsafe abortions -  putting women lives at risk
  • and 82 more maternal deaths every year in Ethiopia.

While these funds can no longer go to non-governmental organisations which provide abortion, Trump’s executive order means funds will instead go to organisations such as evangelical organisations which advocate abstinence and other measures which don’t work and set back women’s development.  

Harriet Harman said: 

“The Ethiopian Government has worked hard with international NGOs to reduce the risk of unsafe abortions and maternal deaths, but Donald Trump cutting off funds for Marie Stopes and other similar organisations is turning the clock back on this progress and endangering women’s lives.

“This is not only a threat to the women I met in Ethiopia, Marie Stopes International prevents 21,000 maternal deaths in 37 countries around the world every year. Trump’s executive order is directly threatening each one of these women’s lives and families that could be torn apart.  

“It’s not Donald Trump – and the men-only advisory team beaming as he signed on the dotted line – who should be making choices about women’s health. Women should be able to make those choices themselves, wherever they are in the world. 

“I am urging the Prime Minister to call on Donald Trump to reverse this cruel and dangerous executive order and if she were a woman PM prepared to stand up for women around the world this is what she would do”.

 


ENDS

Report on Ethiopia visit 2017 - Women's Rights are Human Rights

HARRIET HARMAN REPORTS ON HER ETHIOPIA VISIT:  “DONALD TRUMP’S ABORTION LAW WILL COST THE LIVES OF ETHIOPIAN WOMEN" After meeting Ethiopian women MPs and students and visiting hospitals, clinics and refugee camps...

GC_Report_Oct-Nov_2017_GE_FINAL_RS-page-001.jpg

Monthly Report October/November 2017

Read more

Following nominations and elections among MPs, Ms Harriet Harman has been elected Chair of the committee for the 2017 Parliament.

She was the sole nomination for the position and was therefore declared elected, unopposed.

Ms Harriet Harman will formally take up position as chair of the Committee in the next meeting.

Chair's comments

"I'm delighted to be re-elected as Chair of Parliament's Human Rights Committee. 

It's all too easy to think that our human rights here are inviolable and its only in other countries that there are human rights abuses. And some even use "human rights" as a term of abuse. 

But we have to remain vigilant and the role of our committee is to scrutinise the government to ensure that it upholds our fundamental human rights."

 

Delighted to be Re-elected as Chair of Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights

Following nominations and elections among MPs, Ms Harriet Harman has been elected Chair of the committee for the 2017 Parliament. She was the sole nomination for the position and was...

Urgent_care.JPG

This morning, I asked the Leader of the House of Commons to make a statement about her plan to tackle sexual harassment in Parliament.

You can watch the whole debate here or read a full transcript here

Urgent Question on Sexual Harassment

This morning, I asked the Leader of the House of Commons to make a statement about her plan to tackle sexual harassment in Parliament. You can watch the whole debate...

I co-signed a joint letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd calling on the Government to bring forward legislation to introduce buffer zones outside abortion clinics and pregnancy advice bureaux to protect women.

A full copy of the text of the letter can be found below:

 

Dear Amber, 

RE: Buffer zones and women’s access to essential healthcare

I am writing to you, alongside my colleagues, subsequent to our recent exchange in the Chamber on the topic of buffer zones and persistent protests outside clinics that provide family planning and abortion services.

On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of partial legalisation of abortion in UK, shockingly women daily face abuse when undergoing terminations. In my own constituency, there have been groups of people stood outside the clinic at Mattock Lane for the past 23 years – following women, calling them ‘murderers’, and telling them that if they ‘change their lifestyles then they won’t end up back here’. In my colleagues’ constituencies they stand with oversized signs with distressing and graphic images of aborted foetuses, they film women entering and leaving clinics, and they distribute false medical information. In your own constituency, they livestreamed their actions during a protest near Hastings’ abortion clinic.

This is not a protest in the usual sense of the word. These people are not seeking to change the law – they are not campaigning to change the minds of our colleagues, or encourage parliament to review the legislation. Instead, they are targeting individual women who have come to a difficult decision and who are seeking to access lawful healthcare.

Existing legislation already provides for arrest when protesters are intentionally causing harassment, alarm or offence; it allows police to disperse protesters who are causing harassment, alarm or distress; and it prevents against harassment. But these powers are simply not being used.

In the case of harassment, existing legislation places an almost insurmountable burden on women accessing abortion care – to be subject to harassment more than once by the same people, to call the police, and to agree to talk to not only them but also a public court of law about her abortion. The expectation that a woman should be forced to make public her healthcare history in order to obtain justice against those harassing her is patently unreasonable.

As you know, last week, Ealing Council voted to make use of anti-social behaviour powers as a last-ditch attempt to stop the 23-year long harassment in their Borough. This was based on gathered evidence – videos, clinic logs, and testimony from residents. It has been a long process – several years of work by highly committed volunteers who wouldn’t take lack of action from central government as an answer to their efforts.

I know that you are eagerly awaiting the outcome of Ealing’s action - but this exhaustive work should not have to be the norm. As a society we should not be forced to rely on Good Samaritans and grassroots campaigners taking the time to do the job of government and protect our citizens from gendered street harassment. Because that’s what these protests are – a way of telling women that the decisions they make about their bodies and own futures are unacceptable, and that they deserve to have attention drawn to them in the most public, misogynistic, unsolicited way possible.

That is why I am asking you to bring forward legislation to introduce buffer zones outside abortion clinics and pregnancy advisory bureaux – not to stop protests, but to ask protesters to instead make use of any of the many places they could protest – from parliament square to town centres to Speaker’s Corner. The women accessing clinics are not seeking debate – they are trying to make their own personal decision about their own pregnancy. And it must be our job as parliamentarians to protect that right.

Yours Sincerely,

Rupa Huq MP

 

Jess Phillips MP

Chair of the Women’s PLP

 

Harriet Harman MP

Mother of the House of Commons

Letter to the Home Secretary Calling on Her to Ensure The Safety Of Women at Abortion Clinics

I co-signed a joint letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd calling on the Government to bring forward legislation to introduce buffer zones outside abortion clinics and pregnancy advice bureaux to...

GC_Report_Sept-Oct_2017_GE_FINAL-page-001.jpg

Monthly Report September/October 2017

Read more

It was great today to welcome members of the Southwark Pensioner Action Group (SPAG) to Parliament to meet with Helen Hayes MP, Neil Coyle MP, the Mayor of Southwark, Charlie I to discuss their concerns about the pension age, NHS waiting times, Tory cuts to social care, the ‘dementia tax’ and the availability of adaptable housing.

The Conservative Government is failing older people, leaving many in limbo with their pensions and not knowing if they will need to sell their homes to pay for their care in later life. I will continue to champion older people’s rights and fight against the Tory cuts that are holding older people back.

Southwark Pensioners' Parliament 2017

It was great today to welcome members of the Southwark Pensioner Action Group (SPAG) to Parliament to meet with Helen Hayes MP, Neil Coyle MP, the Mayor of Southwark, Charlie...

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.