Harriet Harman

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

Current News

My letter to Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP:

My letter to Home Secretary RE: Windrush Generation

My letter to Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP:

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Today I asked an Urgent Question in the House of Commons to the Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins MP, to ask the Government to set out what action they are taking to close the gender pay gap.

You can see a full transcript of the Urgent Question here.

Full text of my response to the Minister:

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for granting this urgent question, and I thank the Minister for her obvious commitment to this issue. It was Labour legislation that enacted gender pay transparency, but it was her Government who implemented it. It is important that they did that, because it has laid bare what women have always known but previously did not have proof of, which is that there is systematic pay discrimination. It is now clear: eight out of 10 employers pay men more than they pay women—and that is across every sector, including the retail sector, which would not exist without women’s work. Why on earth should women in Tesco put up with £8 an hour on the checkout when men in the stores get up to £11.50 an hour?

Although it pains me to say this, the trade unions that need to be part of the negotiations to narrow the pay gap need to get their house in order. How can women members of Unite believe that that union will champion their rights to equal pay if there is a 30% pay gap in the union itself? The NASUWT, a teachers union, pays its male staff 40% more than it pays women, so it too has to take action. As for the public sector, let us look at the University of Liverpool. Its public policy is to narrow the pay gap, but the University of Liverpool pays men 90% more in bonuses than it pays women. That has to stop.

Does the Minister agree that we are no longer interested in rationalisations, explanations or justifications? The time for excuses has passed. We want stretching targets year on year to narrow the gap. Will she join me in congratulating the women in the House who have spoken up on this issue, such as my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow (Stella Creasy), among many others, including the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, the right hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mrs Miller), and Labour’s Front-Bench team, who have been pushing on this issue? Will she congratulate all the women outside the House who have been pushing on this, not least women in trade unions and the BBC women?

May I give the Minister some sisterly advice on what she should do to really focus on this issue? First, she should stay on the back of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and make sure that it uses all its powers and has the resources to take action. Secondly, she should suggest to the Prime Minister that she has a Cabinet session on the gender pay gap, with all Secretaries of State required to come to Cabinet and say what stretching targets they are going to impose in their Departments and the sectors for which they are responsible. Thirdly, she should commandeer Downing Street for a summit at which business and trade unions can tell her what they are going to do to narrow the pay gap. If she does all that, she will have a great opportunity and a great responsibility, because if she drives forward on narrowing the pay gap, that is not only fair and just but the most important thing to help low-income families and tackle child poverty.

We've got the figures, now we need action to close gender pay gap - UQ to Women's Minister

Today I asked an Urgent Question in the House of Commons to the Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins MP, to ask the Government to set out what action they are...

The Government's treatment of the 'Windrush Generation' who arrived in Britain from countries in the Caribbean in the 60s and 70s is unacceptable and cruel. People who have lived, worked, paid taxes and raised families in this country for decades are facing detention, deportation and the denial of medical care due to the Home Office’s Hostile Environments policy. It is appalling the Government has taken so long to act to clarify their status.

Yesterday I wrote jointly with David Lammy MP and 140 MPs to the Prime Minister urging her to take swift action to make an immediate commitment to recognise and secure the rights of Commonwealth citizens.  

Please see our letter to the Prime Minister below:

 

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Government must urgently guarantee Windrush people's status - Letter to the Prime Minister

The Government's treatment of the 'Windrush Generation' who arrived in Britain from countries in the Caribbean in the 60s and 70s is unacceptable and cruel. People who have lived, worked, paid taxes and raised families in... Read more

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The differences in pay received by men and women in television has been starkly revealed as television and production companies publish their gender pay data.

I joined a panel event this evening hosted by the Royal Television Society to discuss what the figures show, the implications for companies and the sector more broadly, and what can and should be done to narrow the gender pay gap.

The event was Chaired by Jane Martinson, Guardian columnist and journalist and we were joined by fellow speakers Jane Corbin, BBC current affairs journalist, Sian Kevill, former BBC executive and founder, Make Productions and Charlotte Sweeney OBE, Expert adviser on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Mind the Gender Pay Gap RTS Panel Event

The differences in pay received by men and women in television has been starkly revealed as television and production companies publish their gender pay data. I joined a panel event...

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Great support in Goose Green Ward, Southwark for brilliant Labour candidates, James McAsh, Victoria Olisa and Charlie Smith. Lots of issues discussed with local residents including traffic, burglaries and love for the NHS.

Thanks to the terrific local members and to Champion Hill candidate Sarah King for joining us ahead of the local elections on May 3rd. Best wishes!

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Goose Green Campaigning

Great support in Goose Green Ward, Southwark for brilliant Labour candidates, James McAsh, Victoria Olisa and Charlie Smith. Lots of issues discussed with local residents including traffic, burglaries and love for the NHS. Thanks...

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Great to join Abbey Ward candidate Nicky Massey in Cambridge ahead of the local elections on May 3rd. Daniel Zeichner MP and the brilliant local labour team joined us as did former MP for Cambridge Anne Campbell. The support on the doorstep was terrific. Best wishes for the election!

Campaigning in Cambridge - Local Elections

Great to join Abbey Ward candidate Nicky Massey in Cambridge ahead of the local elections on May 3rd. Daniel Zeichner MP and the brilliant local labour team joined us as did former MP for...

The rise we’ve witnessed in deadly violence in London over the past few weeks has been traumatic and difficult for families and communities and our thoughts are above all with those who have lost loved ones in the violence which has tragically killed 10 teenagers in 2018.

On 10th April I attended an emergency cross-party summit called by the Mayor of London with Met Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick; Home Secretary, Amber Rudd MP; Deputy Mayor for Policing, Sophie Linden; London MPs; Assembly Members and council leaders to discuss what action needs to be taken to prevent more young people losing their lives.

Violent crime has been on the rise since 2014 as the services that play a critical role in local communities - the Met Police, councils, youth clubs and schools - have been cut to the bone by 8 years of Tory cuts. In Southwark there are 24% less police officers than in 2010. This loss of community policing combined with cuts to after school activities is creating a dangerous situation where          vulnerable children are out of school, with nothing to do and deteriorating self-worth, making them susceptible to grooming and gang targeting. 

While I welcome the Government’s announcement of a new Serious Violence Strategy and Offensive Weapons Bill, the Government must urgently back this up with additional resources.

Parents need to know that their children are safe. I have written to the Home Secretary calling for more funding for schools and police to help ensure that every primary and secondary school is engaged fully in tackling the rise in violent crime.  

Emergency Violent Crime Summit with Mayor Sadiq Khan

The rise we’ve witnessed in deadly violence in London over the past few weeks has been traumatic and difficult for families and communities and our thoughts are above all with...

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Government must give police resources to tackle rise in violent crime - letter to PM and Home Secretary

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Great atmosphere and sense of enthusiasm amongst the women at Welsh Labour Women’s Conference on 10th March. The room was packed full of Assembly Members, MPs, councillors, members and trade unionists, all determined to take action on       childcare, unequal pay and domestic violence.

 

Welsh Labour Women's Conference

Great atmosphere and sense of enthusiasm amongst the women at Welsh Labour Women’s Conference on 10th March. The room was packed full of Assembly Members, MPs, councillors, members and trade unionists,...

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Monthly report February/March 2018

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