Harriet Harman

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

Current News

Harriet Harman MP, Labour’s Interim Leader, has written to David Cameron calling on the government to bring forward primary legislation on the substantial planned changes in tax credits.

At the moment tax credit changes costing working families £1,000 a year could be imposed with the scantest possible parliamentary scrutiny, through a Statutory Instrument which will not be debated by the whole House of Commons.

Labour is calling for changes to tax credits to be first examined by the Treasury Select Committee and thereafter included in primary legislation.

The full text of the letter is below

 

Dear Prime Minister,

You have proposed substantial measures to cut tax credit work allowances which the IFS say will cost 3 million families an average of £1,000 a year each – a total cut of £3.4 billion.

The cuts in tax credits of £3.4 billion were not in your manifesto. During the election campaign you gave no indication that your government had plans to do this. Indeed on 30 April 2015, in response to a question on whether you would cut Child Tax Credit, you said: “No I don’t want to do that”.

This is a controversial measure. You assert that working people will be compensated for the cuts to tax credits by the increases in the minimum wage. This is contested by the IFS who say that it is “arithmetically impossible”.

It appears that you are proposing to implement your cuts to tax credits with the scantest possible parliamentary scrutiny, through a Statutory Instrument which will not be debated by the whole House of Commons. It will only be considered by a committee of no more than 15 MPs and is likely to be concluded in no more than 45 minutes. It will not be possible to amend it in the House of Lords.

Parliament needs to be able to scrutinise this measure which was not in your manifesto, and is substantial and highly controversial, and which we oppose. These cuts to tax credits hit working families in every constituency, and must not be sneaked through the back door without the chance for MPs to subject them to proper scrutiny.

I am writing to ask you to undertake that this is not implemented by way of a Statutory Instrument. I propose that it is first examined by the Work and Pensions and Treasury Select Committees, who can take evidence on the extent to which the cuts to tax credits will hit working families and the inaccuracy of your claim that those who lose out will be compensated by a higher minimum wage.

Thereafter, if you persist in taking these measures forward, I propose that you do so in primary legislation which can be considered at a Second Reading on the floor of the House of Commons, then in a full Committee Stage, then again by the whole House of Commons at a Report Stage and Third Reading, and then by the House of Lords.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Harriet Harman

PRESS RELEASE: Harriet Harman demands David Cameron halts his back-door plans to cut tax credits

Harriet Harman MP, Labour’s Interim Leader, has written to David Cameron calling on the government to bring forward primary legislation on the substantial planned changes in tax credits. At the...

Parliamentary Report - July 2015

You can read my Parliamentary report for July here

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Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, I challenged David Cameron over some of the measures in last week’s budget, including his cuts to tax credits which will make millions of working families on low incomes worse off. I also questioned him over changes to party funding and trade unions. There is an issue about big money in politics but it must be dealt with fairly, it must be done on a cross-party basis. It cannot be one rule for the Labour Party but something completely different for the Tories. 

Challenging David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions

  Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, I challenged David Cameron over some of the measures in last week’s budget, including his cuts to tax credits which will make millions of... Read more

During the last three weeks constituents in Camberwell and Peckham have sent me 543 emails on 66 different policy issues – from the Budget to the future of British bees. Here’s a full breakdown of the issues people have raised.

 

  • Concern at Government plans to cut support for people placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), down to the rate paid to people on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

 

  • The need to crack down on tax avoidance

 

  • Condemning Government plans to cut Working Families' Tax Credits

 

  • The one year anniversary of Andargachew Tsege’s detention, a British National in Incommunicado Detention in Ethiopia

 

  • The need to protect the future of Britain’s bees

 

  • In support of the Assisted Dying Bill

 

  • Against the Assisted Dying Bill

 

  • The Climate Coalition’s National Lobby of Parliament on 17th June

 

  • Call on the Government to invest in early years education and child literacy in the Budget

 

  • Support for the Hunting Ban

 

  • Against the Hunting Ban

 

  • Against Heathrow airport expansion in response to the Howard Davies Airport Commission report on additional airport capacity

 

  • Support for compulsory sex and relationship education in schools

 

  • Against the privatisation of National Gallery security and services

 

  • Against the income threshold requirement of £18,600 for a spouse visa

 

  • Stop the War, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Campaign Against Arms Trade’s report: ‘Arming Apartheid: UK Complicity in Israel's Crimes Against the Palestinian People'

 

  • Support for the ‘Back Off’ Campaign to provide more protection for women using abortion clinics

 

  • Against the potential taxation of Personal Independence Payments

 

  • Supporting Debbie Abrahams MP’s call on the Government to publish the number of people who have died within 6 weeks of having their Employment and Support allowance stopped

 

  • Anti-military action in Syria

 

  • UNICEF campaign to ensure the UK takes a leading international role to end violence against children

 

  • Wateraid’s ‘1858’ sanitation event

 

  • Concern to ensure that disabled people are protected from the Government’s £12 billion welfare cuts

 

  • Concern to ensure that children with sensory loss are protected from the Government’s £12billion welfare cuts

 

  • Concern at food waste and supermarket disposal of edible food

 

  • Against the use of wild animals in circuses

 

  • In favour of more provision of talking therapies in Camberwell and Peckham

 

  • In support of the Rethink Mental Illness campaign to help make mental health funding a priority in communities

 

  • Concern at European Union decision to ask the UK to remove its tax exemption for small scale producers of cider.

 

  • Trident and the Strategic Defence and Security Review

 

  • Make sure the River Thames Garden Bridge is good value for the tax payer

 

  • Improve dog breeding regulation and legislation

 

  • Support Anthony Nolan’s ‘Destination Cure’ Campaign to support research of blood cancer

 

  • Macmillan Cancer Support

 

  • Cancer Research UK’s Parliamentary drop-in event – Wed 8 July

 

  • British Heart Foundation's (BHF) call to maintain science funding in the Budget

 

  • Crisis’ ‘No One Turned Away’ campaign to ensure vulnerable single people can access social homes

 

  • To oppose the Housing Benefit cuts to 18-21 year olds

 

  • The need to do more to help the world’s refugees

 

  • Supporting the introduction of a guardianship law to protect a missing person’s financial and legal affairs

 

  • Protect seals from the impact of the British fishing industry

 

  • Condemning the conflict in South Sudan on South Sudan’s 4th Anniversary of independence

 

  • Concern at actions of the Nigerian military and their civilian militias in North Nigeria

 

  • Oppose the Anti-Semitic Demonstration in Golders Green on 4th July

 

  • Protect people at Yarlswood Immigration Removal Centre

 

  • Ensure private hire taxis are held to same standards and regulation as black cabs

 

  • Concern at the privatisation of criminal fine and compensation enforcement

 

  • Reduce the amount of antibiotics used on farm animals to help fight the antibiotics resistance crisis

 

  • EU Referendum – Campaigning for the UK to stay in Europe

 

  • Make tackling climate change priority in Government

 

  • Maintain Overseas Development Aid at 0.7%

 

  • Make Shared Ownership Properties more affordable in London

 

  • Ensure Shared Ownership properties are included in the extension of Right to Buy for social housing

 

  • Stop the deportation of Dominicans of Haitian descent from The Dominican Republic

 

  • Stop the deportation of Raja Bachir Khouja

 

  • Support for ZP Dala, a Muslim South African Writer attacked for public praise of Salman Rushdie’s work

 

  • Stop trading Israel’s illegal settlements goods

 

  • Free West Papua Campaign

 

  • The need to resettle more Syrian refugees

 

  • Condemning Saudi Arabia's actions in Yemen

 

  • Provide a comprehensive and mental health service

 

  • Concern for the pregnant woman attacked in Peckham

 

  • The need to take action to minimise noise pollution in South London

 

  • Against fracking in Southwark

 

  • Performers’ Alliance All-Party Parliamentary Group – protect independent music venues from closure due to new residential developments and noise complaints

 

  • Concern at banks’ actions around the world and their impact on global inequality

 

Policy issues raised by constituents in Camberwell and Peckham in the last 3 weeks

During the last three weeks constituents in Camberwell and Peckham have sent me 543 emails on 66 different policy issues – from the Budget to the future of British bees. Here’s a full breakdown...

This morning I held an advice surgery on the Glebe Estate in Camberwell. Thank you to Maureen Moseley and Bev Hayes from the Tenants and Residents Association for helping to organise it and for showing me around the estate along with local councillors Radha Burgess and Ian Wingfield.

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Walkabout on the Glebe Estate in Camberwell

This morning I held an advice surgery on the Glebe Estate in Camberwell. Thank you to Maureen Moseley and Bev Hayes from the Tenants and Residents Association for helping to organise... Read more

Today the Chancellor delivered his budget speech in the House of Commons. It leaves working people worse off and fails the test of building a more productive economy to bring the deficit down. David Cameron and George Osborne’s decision to cut tax credits will hit 3 million working people – completely undermining their argument that this is a Budget for working people. The full text of my response can be found below:

Harriet Harman's Response to the Budget

Today the Chancellor delivered his budget speech in the House of Commons. It leaves working people worse off and fails the test of building a more productive economy to bring the... Read more

At Prime Minister’s Questions this week I challenged David Cameron his plans to water down the Human Rights Act, the fall in the number of people participating in sport since the Olympics, and his failure to consult on proposals for English votes for English Laws. The full text can be found below:

Challenging David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions

At Prime Minister’s Questions this week I challenged David Cameron his plans to water down the Human Rights Act, the fall in the number of people participating in sport since the Olympics, and his failure... Read more

Harriet Harman MP for Camberwell and Peckham today said:

“There is evidence of the need among children and young people in Southwark for what Kids Company provides.

“They work with some of our most deprived and vulnerable children and young people.

“The Government made a promise to them before the election to fund them. They should keep their promise.

“The Government should work with Camilla Batmanghelidjh who is the founder and inspirational leader”.

 

Ends

 

Background

Local charity Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996. They provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable children, young people and families from Camberwell and Peckham and across London, Bristol and Liverpool.They reach the most deprived and at risk children whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges.

 

Press Release: Local charity Kids Company

Harriet Harman MP for Camberwell and Peckham today said: “There is evidence of the need among children and young people in Southwark for what Kids Company provides. “They work with...

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I gave a speech today at the LGA conference in Harrogate outlining the challenges faced by local authorities, including housing, devolution, diversity, as well as highlighting the important work done by councillors across the country. The full text from the speech is below:

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***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***

Harriet Harman MP, Acting Leader of the Labour Party, in a speech at the LGA Annual Conference in Harrogate, said:

Harriet Harman Speech: LGA Conference 2015

I gave a speech today at the LGA conference in Harrogate outlining the challenges faced by local authorities, including housing, devolution, diversity, as well as highlighting the important work done... Read more

HH_PMQs2.jpg

Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, I raised Britain’s response to the recent terrorist attack in Tunisia. I also challenged David Cameron on the proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport. Cameron gives the impression that there is going to be a proper process, but something very is different coming out of No. 10, because it is briefing that it is not going to happen.

 

Challenging David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions

Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, I raised Britain’s response to the recent terrorist attack in Tunisia. I also challenged David Cameron on the proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport. Cameron... Read more

Today following events in Tunisia, where 18 innocent Briton have been murdered and many more seriously injured in the biggest terrorist attack on our citizens since 7/7, I responded to the Prime Minister’s Statement in the House of Commons on this and recent European Council meetings. Below is my response:

 

Responding to the Tunisia & European Council Statement

Today following events in Tunisia, where 18 innocent Briton have been murdered and many more seriously injured in the biggest terrorist attack on our citizens since 7/7, I responded to... Read more

Manny Amadi

Vice Chair, The Charter School Educational Trust

c/o The Charter School

Red Post Hill

London SE24 9JH

 

 

26th June 2015

 

 

Dear Manny,

Submission to the public consultation on The Charter School East Dulwich

I am responding to the consultation on the plan to build a new secondary school - The Charter School East Dulwich.  

I fully support the plan to build a new secondary school on part of the site of Dulwich Community Hospital. 

I fully support the school being run by The Charter School Educational Trust - The Charter School is rated by Ofsted as an outstanding school and is oversubscribed with more applicants than there are places.

There needs to be full consideration given to, and consultation on, the 'nodal finish point' for admissions because there is a long standing and acute problem with secondary school provision of the quality parents want. And we know that many parents fail to get any of their six choices for secondary school.

It's important that all parents, and other local stakeholders, are given the chance to have their say.

This is about building a great new school to serve the needs of the diverse community by providing an excellent education for its young people, and it has my full support.

Best wishes,


Harriet Harman

Submission to public consultation on The Charter School East Dulwich

Manny Amadi Vice Chair, The Charter School Educational Trust c/o The Charter School Red Post Hill London SE24 9JH     26th June 2015     Dear Manny, Submission to...

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Today, in the House of Commons chamber, I challenged David Cameron on the impact on families on their plans to cut tax credits for working people. Cameron says that he is tackling low pay; but he is not, he is attacking the low-paid. I also raised the current migrant crisis in Calais, and asked the Prime Minister what actions he is taking to resolve it.

Challenging David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions

Today, in the House of Commons chamber, I challenged David Cameron on the impact on families on their plans to cut tax credits for working people. Cameron says that he is... Read more

Every summer Camberwell College of Arts showcase the work of their 3rd year undergraduate students. This is their final show before they graduate and launch their careers into the creative industries. Each year the work is of a consistently high standard and this year was no exception - the students work was amazing. The exhibition is on for the rest of this week at Camberwell College of Art, 45 Peckham Road – you can visit anytime between 10am and 8pm, culminating in an open house on Saturday.

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Camberwell College of Arts Graduate Show

Every summer Camberwell College of Arts showcase the work of their 3rd year undergraduate students. This is their final show before they graduate and launch their careers into the creative...

Parliamentary Report: June 2015

You can read my Parliamentary report for June 2015 here

Dr Fionna Moore MBE

Chief Executive

London Ambulance Service

220 Waterloo Road

London SE1 8SD

 

18th June 2015

 

Dear Fionna,

I am writing to express my concern at a recent incident involving the London Ambulance Service.

On the 15th June there was an appalling attack on a pregnant 21 year old woman in Peckham in my constituency. The woman concerned, Ms. Malorie Bantala, is my constituent and the attack resulted in the tragic loss of her unborn child. She remains critically ill in hospital. 

I am extremely concerned at reports that no ambulance attended the scene and that ultimately, as I understand, the police took Ms. Bantala to hospital an hour after the initial call to the ambulance service was made.

This was an extremely serious assault on a young woman who was 32 weeks pregnant.

I would be grateful if you would send me a full report that includes answers to the following: Did the ambulance service receive a call? If so, at what time? Was an ambulance dispatched? If so, at what time?

 
Best wishes,

 

Harriet Harman

Letter to Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service

Dr Fionna Moore MBE Chief Executive London Ambulance Service 220 Waterloo Road London SE1 8SD   18th June 2015   Dear Fionna, I am writing to express my concern at...

I am shocked and appalled at the vicious attack on my constituent causing the tragic the loss of her unborn child. She remains critically ill in hospital, and my thoughts are with her and her family.

I am concerned at reports that the London Ambulance service failed to attend at the scene, and that the local police had to take her to hospital over an hour after the attack.

I have written to the Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service urging her to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation.

I know that local residents will be particularly disturbed by this crime in their normally quiet and peaceful neighbourhood. But I hope that the attacker will be convicted so that justice is done for the victim and the community can know that those who committed this crime are behind bars.

Ends

 

Background

A 21 year old woman who was 32 weeks pregnant was violently assaulted by two masked men at around 8pm on Monday 15th June in Talfourd Place in Peckham, South London. The police arrested a 20 year old man who was charged on the 18th June with child destruction and GBH with intent.

 

Press Release: Harriet Harman "shock" at horrific attack on pregnant woman and asks why ambulance didn't come

I am shocked and appalled at the vicious attack on my constituent causing the tragic the loss of her unborn child. She remains critically ill in hospital, and my thoughts...

Where you live is one of the most important things. To be in a secure home in a good neighbourhood is basic. And that means that there need to be enough homes for people who want to rent - which they can afford. And enough homes for people who want to buy - at a price they can afford.

 

With 12,000 people on Southwark Council's housing waiting list, and house prices sky high, many turn to the private rented sector. But because Southwark is so close to the centre of London the average cost of a privately rented two bed flat is £2,000 a month. Such high rents mean that local people are forced to move away.

 

Many people in Southwark either own their own home or want to. But with house prices also sky high, many can't afford to. One of the reasons that house prices in central London are so high is that there are not enough homes being built. Under this Government house building fell to its lowest level in 30 years. And ‘Help to Buy’ still doesn’t get people on to the housing ladder because, even if they can afford a mortgage, they can’t get a deposit. That's why we need more shared ownership properties.


It’s so important that Southwark Council is building 11,000 more council homes. Council tenants currently have the right to buy their homes at a discount. But the problem is the Government didn't keep its promise to replace them.

 

Now the Government is planning to give tenants in housing associations, like council tenants, a discount to buy their own homes. There are currently 16,500 housing association tenancies in Southwark and under the new policy an estimated 8,600 of these homes will be opened up for tenants to buy.

 

Southwark's housing associations like L&Q, Hyde, Family Mosaic, AmicusHorizon, Wandle and Metropolitan provide much needed affordable housing for families. They tell me that this is not the right policy for London.

 

To pay for the housing association discount, under these new proposals, Southwark Council will have to sell off its most expensive properties, when they become empty, including 30% of the homes they’ve just built.

 

The Government has promised that under this new scheme sold off properties will be replaced on a one-for-one basis. David Cameron promised the same thing for every council home but that did not happen – for every ten homes sold, only one has been built.

 

There‘s a housing crisis in Southwark with people not able to afford to buy, private rents too expensive and long waiting lists for council and housing association homes.

 

The Government should be building more homes for sale, helping people get the deposit they need to get on the housing ladder and helping councils and housing associations build more homes to rent. But instead their only housing policy is to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants which will mean a very few people will get on the housing ladder while waiting lists for council and housing association homes will only grow.

Southwark News Column: Southwark's Housing Crisis

Where you live is one of the most important things. To be in a secure home in a good neighbourhood is basic. And that means that there need to be...

Rt Hon George Osborne MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

HM Treasury

1 Horse Guards Road

London SW1A 2HQ

 

17th June 2015

 

Dear George,

Re: Kids Company

I am writing because the charity Kids Company, which does important work supporting exceptionally vulnerable children and young people from my constituency and all around London and beyond, requires urgent financial assistance.

Most of the children at Kids Company have found their own way there because their needs have not been adequately met by any of the statutory agencies. And because the charity takes children from all around London and other cities, it does not receive local authority funding.

The charity is mainly financed by private donations but currently receives financial assistance from the Government as well. I strongly believe that Kids Company should receive proper government funding.

The unique work that they do with some of our most deprived and vulnerable children and young people should be a public policy priority. I’m concerned that without the continuation of government funds and financial stability, Kids Company will have to close and these children and young people will be denied the care that helps them to overcome the particular challenges they face and reach their full potential.

Please can you arrange for your officials to meet Kids Company as soon as possible to discuss funding arrangements for the remainder of this financial year, and government funding for the long term.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,

 

Harriet Harman

Letter to the Chancellor on funding for Kids Company

Rt Hon George Osborne MP Chancellor of the Exchequer HM Treasury 1 Horse Guards Road London SW1A 2HQ   17th June 2015   Dear George, Re: Kids Company I am...

Dr. David Collins

Further Education Commissioner

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

2 St. Pauls Place

125 Norfolk Street

Sheffield S1 2FJ

 

17th June 2015

 

Dear David,

Closure of Camberwell College Campus

Many of my constituents are very concerned about the proposal to close the Camberwell campus of Lewisham Southwark College in my constituency of Camberwell and Peckham.

It’s very important to have a Further Education facility on this site. The Camberwell campus is very accessible to the local community who need it there because of work and childcare commitments. For many local people, particularly women, it’s their only opportunity to improve their skills and find better jobs.

I strongly believe that the Camberwell campus should not be sold and the site should be kept for Further Education. This community should not lose out because of problems that have beset the running of the College.

I’d be grateful if you would send me a full report and I look forward to your reply at the earliest convenience.

Best wishes,

 

Harriet Harman

 

Letter to Further Education Commissioner on the future of the Camberwell campus of Lewisham Southwark College

Dr. David Collins Further Education Commissioner Department for Business, Innovation & Skills 2 St. Pauls Place 125 Norfolk Street Sheffield S1 2FJ   17th June 2015   Dear David, Closure...

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