Harriet Harman

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

Current News

Meeting parents and carers at Ilderton primary school this afternoon with local Councillor Richard Livingstone. Thanks to Head Teacher, Dean Brewer, for showing me around the school - which is open from 7.30am to 7pm with breakfast and after school clubs!

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Ilderton Primary School in Livesey

Meeting parents and carers at Ilderton primary school this afternoon with local Councillor Richard Livingstone. Thanks to Head Teacher, Dean Brewer, for showing me around the school - which is... Read more

In my role as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, I appeared on the BBC London Robert Elms Show to discuss arts and culture in the capital, and how London’s vibrant cultural scene shapes the city we live in.  The discussion covered topics such as arts funding, participation in the arts by people from BME and disadvantaged backgrounds, and the film tax credit.

 

You can listen to the show here. 

Interview on the Robert Elms Show

In my role as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, I appeared on the BBC London Robert Elms Show to discuss arts and culture in the capital,...

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Val Shawcross, London Assembly Member for Southwark, local Councillor Chris Gonde and Rosemary Minto joined me at the school gate this afternoon to talk to parents and carers. 

Meeting Parents at Dog Kennel Hill Primary School

Val Shawcross, London Assembly Member for Southwark, local Councillor Chris Gonde and Rosemary Minto joined me at the school gate this afternoon to talk to parents and carers.  Read more

On Monday 27th April at Theatre Royal Brighton I, along with Chris Bryant, Shadow Culture Minister, launched Labour’s Charter for Culture and the Creative Industries.  The Charter sets out Labour’s plans for culture and the creative industries, and has been supported by a number of high profile figures from the arts and culture world, including Sir Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters CBE, Sir Anish Kapoor CBE and Grayson Perry CBE. 

 You can read Labour’s Charter for Culture and the Creative industries here.

Launch of Labour’s Charter for Culture and the Creative Industries, Theatre Royal Brighton

On Monday 27th April at Theatre Royal Brighton I, along with Chris Bryant, Shadow Culture Minister, launched Labour’s Charter for Culture and the Creative Industries.  The Charter sets out Labour’s...

Lots of important issues raised tonight at the NUT Southwark hustings in Camberwell - supply teachers terms and conditions, free schools and academies, protecting the education budget, the NUT's Education manifesto, and the importance of voting. Thanks to all the teachers who joined us after a long busy day in the classroom, and to NUT Secretary Betty Joseph for organising it.

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NUT Southwark Hustings

Lots of important issues raised tonight at the NUT Southwark hustings in Camberwell - supply teachers terms and conditions, free schools and academies, protecting the education budget, the NUT's Education...

Lots of questions and support for Labour at the school gate this afternoon at Lyndhurst Primary school in Camberwell. Thanks to local Councillor Radha Burgess and Jane Bevis for joining me.

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Talking to parents at Lyndhurst Primary School in Camberwell

Lots of questions and support for Labour at the school gate this afternoon at Lyndhurst Primary school in Camberwell. Thanks to local Councillor Radha Burgess and Jane Bevis for joining... Read more

Lots of people to talk to this morning at the very busy Peckham Rye station. Thanks to local Councillors Johnson Situ, Nick Dolezal and Jasmine Ali, and Jo, Mark, Declan and Richard for joining me.

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Talking to residents at Peckham Rye station

Lots of people to talk to this morning at the very busy Peckham Rye station. Thanks to local Councillors Johnson Situ, Nick Dolezal and Jasmine Ali, and Jo, Mark, Declan... Read more

May 7th is a big day for people locally, for the UK and for our democracy. It’s Election Day when everyone has the right to vote.

I hope everyone will vote. People who are older are more likely to vote. But it's important for young people to vote too - and get their voice heard. People who own their own home nearly always vote. But we need to see the votes of tenants too. For our democracy to be equal we need to see the votes of everyone, younger as well as older, poorer as well as richer and black as well as white. Everyone has an equal right to vote and every vote counts the same.

Some people don't vote because they think their vote won't make any difference. But that just means that they won't have their say and everyone who does vote will.  Some people don't vote because they say all the parties are the same. But there is a huge contrast between the Tories - always helping the better off - and Labour who is on the side of working people. With the Tories we always see the NHS suffer and people on lower incomes getting worse off.  And we face the extra threat this time of UKIP who sow the seeds of division turning people against each other. We cannot solve the problems of this country by the politics of blame.

Some people don't vote because they've never voted and they don't think they know how. It's really easy and straightforward to vote. If you've got a polling card from the council you take it to where it says the polling station is - usually the local primary school or community centre. You don't need your polling card to vote. Just tell them your name and address. There are council staff there to help you if you've got any questions about the process.

I hope that you'll vote for me to be your Member of Parliament. It’s a huge honour and privilege to be your MP. And I think that our area could be so much better with a Labour government. There's a huge amount of optimism in our neighbourhoods but so many people still struggle.

If I get re-elected the people in Camberwell and Peckham will be my first priority. And one of the most important responsibilities of an MP is to help people who have problems but can't solve them and get caught up in red tape.

I hope when you're voting you will think about the people who don't have it easy and who need the backing of government to get a good home, a decent job, and health care. And I hope you will think about people in the rest of the world too. We need to tackle problems which affect us but hit hardest at poorer countries like global climate change. Have your say and vote on May 7th!

 

Why Everyone Should Vote

May 7th is a big day for people locally, for the UK and for our democracy. It’s Election Day when everyone has the right to vote. I hope everyone will...

Great to talk to so many parents' and carer's at St Peter's primary school in Walworth this afternoon along with local Councillors Lorraine Lauder and Paul Fleming. Many people told me they have already voted but they took Labour posters and leaflets!

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Talking to parents at St Peter's Primary School in Walworth

Great to talk to so many parents' and carer's at St Peter's primary school in Walworth this afternoon along with local Councillors Lorraine Lauder and Paul Fleming. Many people told me... Read more

Lots of people to talk to in Rye Lane this morning rushing to catch the bus on their way to work and school. Thanks to Jane and Johnson for joining me.

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Rye Lane Peckham in the morning rush hour

Lots of people to talk to in Rye Lane this morning rushing to catch the bus on their way to work and school. Thanks to Jane and Johnson for joining... Read more

Lots of support for Labour at the bus stops in Camberwell Green this morning. Thanks to Mark, Tom, Gary, Jane and Johnson for helping to organize.

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Talking to Camberwell residents on their way to work

Lots of support for Labour at the bus stops in Camberwell Green this morning. Thanks to Mark, Tom, Gary, Jane and Johnson for helping to organize. Read more

So many parents and carers to talk to today at Michael Faraday primary school on the Aylesbury Estate in Peckham. Lots of support for Labour and wanting to see an end to this Tory Government. Thanks to local Councillors Lorraine Lauder and Paul Fleming for joining me.

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Meeting parents at Michael Faraday Primary School, Peckham

So many parents and carers to talk to today at Michael Faraday primary school on the Aylesbury Estate in Peckham. Lots of support for Labour and wanting to see an end... Read more

I joined local residents for the annual St Georges Day Fayre at Ilderton Primary School in Bermondsey today. This year is their 10th anniversary! Thank you to Pat Hickson, Chair of the local tenants association on the Bonamy Estate, for her work in organising the event over the last 10 years. 

St Georges Day at Ilderton Primary School

I joined local residents for the annual St Georges Day Fayre at Ilderton Primary School in Bermondsey today. This year is their 10th anniversary! Thank you to Pat Hickson, Chair...

It was great to meet up with parents, pupils, staff and Head Teacher Richard Dax at Comber Grove Primary school today.

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Comber Grove Primary School in Camberwell

It was great to meet up with parents, pupils, staff and Head Teacher Richard Dax at Comber Grove Primary school today.

Working grandparents could share parents’ unpaid parental leave under a consultation to be launched today (Wednesday) by Harriet Harman, Labour’s Deputy Leader.

The move would allow a grandparent to take time off work to help look after a grandchild without fear of losing their job, and is further evidence of Labour’s commitment to support working families.

Labour’s Women’s Manifesto, launched today in London, recognises the vital role that grandparents play in looking after their grandchildren when parents are at work.

More than half of all mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first go back to work after maternity leave, while two-thirds of grandparents with grandchildren aged under 16 provide some childcare (i).

Recent polling by YouGov showed that 84 per cent of British women aged 50-70 thought looking after grandchildren on a regular basis has a positive impact (ii).

However public policy hasn’t kept up with the reality of families’ lives:

With 1.9 million grandparents giving up a job, reducing their hours, or taking time off work to look after their grandchildren[iii].

To help grandparents help their families and stay in their jobs, Labour will consult on what flexibilities would make the system work better for families and businesses given changing patterns of care, including the option of allowing grandparents who want to be more involved in caring for their grandchildren to share in parents’ unpaid parental leave.

Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party said:

“There have been many ways in which family life has changed, but public policy remains rooted in the past. This was evident in conversations I had across the country as part of the work of the Older Women’s Commission.

“Labour has a better plan for working families. The sharing of parental leave with grandparents could give families more flexibility by recognising the important role that grandparents play.”

Chuka Umunna, Shadow Secretary of State for business said

“Many companies recognise the benefits of flexible working to retain valued employees with caring responsibilities, and some are already recognising the pressures on grandparents. But the system is outdated. We need to look at how to make parental leave more flexible so that it works better for families and businesses.”

 

Ends

Notes to Editors

Parental Leave

Currently parents can claim 18 weeks unpaid parental leave, or four weeks in any given year, for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday [iv]. The stated aim of this unpaid leave is to support family life, while protecting parents’ employment rights. But at the moment you have to be a parent or to have legal parental responsibility to access this.

A Better Plan for Women’s Equality:

Today’s manifesto outlines Labour’s substantial offer to women and hardworking families:

·         Increasing the minimum wage to more than £8 by October 2019.

·         Tackling the gender pay gap with new pay transparency rules for all large employers.

·         Extending free childcare from 15 to 25 hours a week for working parents of three and four-year-olds.

·         Guaranteed access for parents of primary-age children to 8am-6pm wraparound childcare through primary schools.

·         Protecting the Sure Start budget and opening up an additional 50,000 childcare places.

·         Doubling paid paternity leave, and increasing pay to the equivalent of a full weeks work at the National Minimum Wage so that more families can take up their entitlements.

·         Supporting healthy relationships by introducing age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationship education.

·         Tackle violence against women and girls by appointing a new commissioner to enforce national standards on tackling domestic and sexual abuse, strengthening the law and providing more stable central funding for women’s refuges and Rape Crisis Centres.

[i] Wellard (2011) Doing it all? Grandparents, childcare and employment: An analysis of British Social Attitudes Survey Data from 1998 and 2009, London: Grandparents Plus

[ii] YouGov polling Older Women’s Commission. figure from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,089 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th - 11th February 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB women aged 50-70.

[iii] Family and Childcare Trust, Grandparents Plus and Save the Children, Time to Care: Generation generosity under pressure

[IV] https://www.gov.uk/parental-leave/overview

Labour launches Women’s Manifesto – with flexible leave option for working grandparents

Working grandparents could share parents’ unpaid parental leave under a consultation to be launched today (Wednesday) by Harriet Harman, Labour’s Deputy Leader. The move would allow a grandparent to take...

Lots of important issues raised at the Brandon Baptist Church Hustings on the Wyndham and Comber Estate in Camberwell tonight - from international development to housing and support for carers. Thanks to Reverend Steve Calder and Tim Watkins-Idle for organizing it.

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Brandon Baptist Church Hustings in Camberwell

Lots of important issues raised at the Brandon Baptist Church Hustings on the Wyndham and Comber Estate in Camberwell tonight - from international development to housing and support for carers. Thanks...

Lots of support for Labour's cap on rail fares this morning at busy Denmark Hill station in Camberwell.

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Talking to passengers at Denmark Hill station in Camberwell

Lots of support for Labour's cap on rail fares this morning at busy Denmark Hill station in Camberwell.    

It was great to see such incredible passion and enthusiasm for politics shown by the young people from Kids Company who attended a packed hustings at their Kenbury Street centre in Camberwell.

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Kids Company Hustings

It was great to see such incredible passion and enthusiasm for politics shown by the young people from Kids Company who attended a packed hustings at their Kenbury Street centre in Camberwell....

Talking to parents and carers at the school gate at Crawford Primary school in Camberwell about Labour's pledge to provide 25 hours free childcare.

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Meeting parents at Crawford Primary School

Talking to parents and carers at the school gate at Crawford Primary school in Camberwell about Labour's pledge to provide 25 hours free childcare.

It was a packed audience for the Ivanhoe Residents Association hustings at the Albrighton Community Centre on East Dulwich Estate. Thanks to Michael Rook (Chair) and Alex Zdan (Secretary) for organising it.

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Ivanhoe Residents Association Hustings

It was a packed audience for the Ivanhoe Residents Association hustings at the Albrighton Community Centre on East Dulwich Estate. Thanks to Michael Rook (Chair) and Alex Zdan (Secretary) for...

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