Harriet Harman

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

Current News

It was great to see so much support for Labour's small business policy in Rye Lane and Bellenden Road on Sunday. 

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Talking to small businesses in Rye Lane in Peckham

It was great to see so much support for Labour's small business policy in Rye Lane and Bellenden Road on Sunday.    Read more

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The Northern regional TUC holds a biannual conference which takes place over two days. This year the conference took place in Newcastle and was attended by over 250 people including trade union members, councillors, MEPs, elected mayors, MPs and candidates from across the North East. I spoke about how the region has borne the brunt of the Coalitions unfairness. As a result of their policies there are 28,000 people on zero-hours contracts and 35,973 people affected by the bedroom tax in the North East whilst the regions childcare costs have risen 53% since 2010. The Labour Party in contrast has put forward a positive vision for the country, not just for the few but the many and all across the country. 

TUC Northern Regional Conference

The Northern regional TUC holds a biannual conference which takes place over two days. This year the conference took place in Newcastle and was attended by over 250 people including...

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Today I traveled north to support Labour's campaign to win Stockton South constituency on Saturday.

I joined Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Louise Baldock on Stockon High Street on the latest stop-off for the “Woman to Woman” campaign, the party’s biggest ever women’s campaign, reaching out to women across the country ahead of May’s General Election.

Statistics published in January showed that 390,000 women in the North East did not vote in 2010 and they could have a crucial role in this election.

Women in the North East are earning £18 a week less than in 2010 when you factor in the cost of living. In addition nearly 30% of women in the North East earn less than the living wage, making it one of the worst areas in the country for women's pay.​

Woman to Woman - Stockton South

Today I traveled north to support Labour's campaign to win Stockton South constituency on Saturday. I joined Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Louise Baldock on Stockon High Street on the latest stop-off for the “Woman...

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Photo: Ian Watts

In my role as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport I took part in the Culture Debate, which was organised by the Creative Industries Federation and held at the Royal Opera House.  At this event, representatives from Labour, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party to set out their cultural offer ahead of the General Election, which is being held on May 7th.

Audience members were able to ask the panel questions about different aspects of arts and culture policy.  Questions ranged from access to the arts, funding, visas, education and finance for small businesses.

Labour will guarantee a universal entitlement to a creative education for every child.  And we will create a Prime Minister’s Committee on the Arts, Culture and Creative Industries with a membership drawn from all sectors and regions.  The Committee will draw issues of concern direct to the Prime Minister.

You can watch the debate on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb4ZvpHSpxE&feature=youtu.be  

Culture Debate - Creative Industries Federation Hustings at the Royal Opera House

Photo: Ian Watts In my role as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport I took part in the Culture Debate, which was organised by the Creative Industries...

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Local elections will take place in 279 local authorities in England on May 7th with approximately 30 million people having the opportunity to vote for councillors in their areas. Today Labour launched its local election campaign at the Old Tetley Brewery in Leeds.   Together with Shadow Cabinet colleagues Hilary Benn, Chuka Umuna, Chris Leslie and Michael Dugher along with Labour local government leaders, we signed a covenant to deliver a new devolution deal for England in the first year of a Labour government. By giving back an unprecedented £30 billion of funding from Whitehall over five years, Labour will enable the creation of economic powerhouses in every region, backed by new freedoms. 

Labour's Local Election Campaign Launch

Local elections will take place in 279 local authorities in England on May 7th with approximately 30 million people having the opportunity to vote for councillors in their areas. Today Labour...

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Today Andrew Pakes, Labour Candidate for Milton Keynes South launched his General Election Campaign at the Venue Theatre at Walton High. The event was attended by members and supporters from across the constituency including Milton Keyes North Candidate Emily Darlington as and Councillor Pete Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council. Andrew Pakes would be a great asset in Parliament to the Labour Party but also to Milton Keynes – standing up for the people of his home town. He would be the first MP for Milton Keynes who grew up in in the borough.

I spoke about the importance of this General Election. Since the Tory-Lib Dem Government came into power 5 years ago people are £1600 worse off. We need Labour in Government so we can address the concerns of people in the Milton Keynes and make real difference to their lives – including on childcare, on jobs, on energy prices and protecting the NHS. 

Andrew Pakes general Election Launch in Milton Keynes

Today Andrew Pakes, Labour Candidate for Milton Keynes South launched his General Election Campaign at the Venue Theatre at Walton High. The event was attended by members and supporters from...

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On our second stop in the West Midlands, the Woman to Woman Campaign Tour was in Rugby with Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Claire Edwards. We visited Rugby Thornfield Indoor Bowling Centre, where I tried my hand at bowls and spoke to older women about what they would want from a Labour government to deliver. I then joined a great group of local members for a canvassing session in nearby Oxford Street out in support of Claire Edwards.

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Woman to Woman - Rugby

On our second stop in the West Midlands, the Woman to Woman Campaign Tour was in Rugby with Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Claire Edwards. We visited Rugby Thornfield Indoor Bowling Centre,...

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Today the Woman to Woman campaign pink bus tour made its way to Tamworth to support Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Carol Dean. Braving wind and hail, we took to Tamworth Town Centre to meet local women and discuss what matters to them for the coming General Election. 

Woman to Woman - Tamworth

Today the Woman to Woman campaign pink bus tour made its way to Tamworth to support Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Carol Dean. Braving wind and hail, we took to Tamworth Town...

Responding to the independent review commissioned by Labour on the creative industries and published today by John Woodward, Harriet Harman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said:

"Our creative industries are a huge success story at home and abroad.  They punch well above their weight in terms of international success and help put Britain on the map.

They have also grown faster than the rest of the economy in difficult times and we want to create the best conditions to allow them to continue to flourish which will help us earn our way to a better future. 

The publication of this report is timely given the growing importance of the creative industries to our economy.  I look forward to working with businesses and other stakeholders to ensure that issues such as intellectual property, skills and the regulatory environment create the right environment for the creative industries".

Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, said:

“To build an economy where everyone can succeed and reach their aspirations, the next Labour government will back sectors like Britain’s world-leading creative industries, creating the high-skilled, better paid jobs we need to see.

“This report makes an important contribution, shining a spotlight on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital economy and on how Britain can best compete in a time of ever-greater global competition. It rightly emphasises the need to support and harness the innovation of Britain’s creative industries and ensure they can flourish and grow.”

John Woodward, investment director and MD at Arts Alliance Ltd and former CEO of the UK Film Council said:

"The UK's creative industries lead the world in terms of innovation creativity, skills and talent. This Review aims to address the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

It sought opinions and views from a wide range of stakeholders to help set out a clear agenda for an incoming Labour government to promote business growth and encourage investment in this important sector of our economy.

Crucially the review also emphasises the importance of strong public funding and policies for the arts. This is important for any civilised society.

It's a fact, long term public sector investment in culture has nurtured and inspired the talent that leads our creative industries, and only makes adequate public funding even more of a priority.

The Review also addresses the increasing globalisation of our creative industries, the challenges of raising business growth finance, the emerging gap between the terrific London success story in the creative industries and the rest of the UK, and the importance of skills and education in securing success in the future."​ 

A copy of the report can be found here.

Leading the Field - John Woodward's Review into the Creative Industries

Responding to the independent review commissioned by Labour on the creative industries and published today by John Woodward, Harriet Harman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport,...

The recent problems at London Bridge station have caused mayhem for thousands of passengers travelling between South and Central London. The massive works to upgrade the station as part of the Thameslink project have caused severe overcrowding and extreme delays during rush hour with some passengers having to crawl or jump over ticket barriers to avoid the crush. And people have been left jostling on narrow platforms as they despair about ever getting to or from work and home on time.

Twitter has been seething with protests:

“drivers unaware of destinations – often change mid journey, cancelled trains via Peckham Rye every day, late to work/home EVERY day”

“moving away from Peckham next week as can’t bear the stress of constantly late to work/late home anymore”

“a 7 min trip from queens rd Peckham to london Br takes 20-30 mins every day. Trains constantly delayed and cancelled”

“doing 2 hours unpaid overtime rather than face the train chaos #LondonBridge”

“another day of lon bridge chaos. Pregnant and dealing with delays & canxs. When will this end?”

Together with other South London MP’s, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, Jim Dowd, I and London Assembly Member Val Shawcross met Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, to urge him to take direct control of the situation. As Secretary of State he should call this in and take day to day responsibility. Network Rail and the train operators have passed the buck between themselves and they need to be brought in to have their heads banged together. It’s a daily nightmare for passengers - it should be a daily responsibility for the Secretary of State.

And we urged him to sort out the compensation. People have not got the service they've paid for. Many people have had higher costs as they've had to pay for alternative travel or more hours of childcare from being late home. The compensation scheme is complex and inadequate and designed to deter passengers from claiming. If the service is 50% down on what it should have been, then a season ticket holder should automatically get a 50% refund for the lack of service, as well as additional compensation for the stress and extra expense.

The massive upgrading of London Bridge station is a good thing. We will have a great new station in 2018. But passengers shouldn't have to put up with this. Let alone for a further 18 months of chaos while the works continue. People pay for and rightly expect a decent train service. Only when it’s dealt with at the highest level of government will there be any chance of the problems being resolved sooner rather than later.

Southwark News column: Government must take charge of London Bridge rail chaos

The recent problems at London Bridge station have caused mayhem for thousands of passengers travelling between South and Central London. The massive works to upgrade the station as part of...

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As part of Labour’s ‘Woman to Woman’ tour the pink bus made its way to Carlisle today to meet with Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Lee Sherriff.

We talked to local residents in Carlisle’s Green Market about the issues that will be a priority for them at the General Election in May and asked women to come and share their ideas. We then headed down to Harraby ward to join local council candidate, Jo Williams for a campaigning session. The final stop was at Harraby Community Centre, where Lee Sherriff and I held a discussion with local mothers and representatives of local women’s groups about what matters to them ahead of the General Election in May, including childcare, accessing health services and jobs in Carlisle.

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Woman to Woman - Carlisle

As part of Labour’s ‘Woman to Woman’ tour the pink bus made its way to Carlisle today to meet with Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Lee Sherriff. We talked to local residents in...

Sir Jeremy Heywood

Cabinet Office

70 Whitehall

London SW1A 2AS

United Kingdom

 

24th March 2015

 

Dear Jeremy,

 

I understand that the Prime Minister intends to appoint David Willetts, the Conservative MP, to the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum Group.

Coming one week before Parliament is dissolved and purdah begins, this appointment would be yet another flagrant abuse of government patronage.  Voters would be entitled to see it as the Conservatives giving out jobs to the boys for retiring MPs. This is especially galling after the appointments of Sir Peter Luff to the Heritage Lottery Fund and David Heathcoat-Amory to the National Heritage Memorial Fund– one is a current Conservative MP, the other a former Conservative MP.

These organisations are of great importance and deserve the right people to be leading them, not to be used as sinecures for retiring MPs in what the Financial Times has described as "Italian" style. These organisations should not be used as a reward for government supporters.

I am therefore writing to you to ask that you confirm whether this appointment has been made, and if it has been made, could you answer the following questions:

 

  1. On what date was an offer of appointment made to David Willetts, and when did he accept the post?
  2. What qualifications for the post does David Willetts possess, other than being a Conservative MP?
  3. How many other candidates were considered?

 

With under a week left of this Parliament, this is another case of the Prime Minister packing boards with Conservative MPs to ease their retirement. Our great public institutions are too important to become Tory fiefdoms – they are too important to be used for jobs for the Tory boys.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Letter to Sir Jeremy Heywood regarding appointments to the Science Museum Board

Sir Jeremy Heywood Cabinet Office 70 Whitehall London SW1A 2AS United Kingdom   24th March 2015   Dear Jeremy,   I understand that the Prime Minister intends to appoint David...

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Today I challenged Nick Clegg on his claim to be “more anti-establishment” than before he was in Government. Without the Lib Dems the Tories would not have been able to implement policies including the bedroom tax, increasing tuition fees and the tax cut for millionaires.

Ms Harriet Harman (Camberwell and Peckham) (Lab): In an interview last week the Deputy Prime Minister pronounced that

“the way in which politics works is bust”

and that “Westminster is a joke”. When he said that, was he referring to himself?

The Deputy Prime Minister: I wonder what answer I should give to that. No, of course not.

Ms Harman: He went on in that interview to say that he is now “more anti-establishment” than he was five years ago. Were those the same five years in which he took the ministerial car, the ministerial salary and the Tory Whip? Were they the same five years in which he trebled tuition fees, imposed the bedroom tax, put up VAT and cut taxes for millionaires? However he describes himself, the only thing people in this country will remember him for is giving a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Yes, Prime Minister.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I cannot blame the right hon. and learned Lady; she certainly finished in the style to which we have all been accustomed for the last five years by reading out pre-rehearsed questions. I think that the era of single-party government in this country is over. I know she does not like that idea and that the establishment parties—those Members sitting both behind me and in front of me—do not like it either, but I think it is over. This coalition Government have, in very difficult circumstances, presided over what is now the fastest growing economy in the developed world, with more people in work than ever before, and more women in work than ever before, after the absolute economic mess she bequeathed us. That is quite an achievement.

Challenging Nick Clegg at Deputy Prime Ministers Questions

Today I challenged Nick Clegg on his claim to be “more anti-establishment” than before he was in Government. Without the Lib Dems the Tories would not have been able to...

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Since the Woman to Woman #pinkbus campaign was launched on the 11th February it has toured 65 constituencies around Britain.

 

 

 

Woman to Woman Campaign Report published

Since the Woman to Woman #pinkbus campaign was launched on the 11th February it has toured 65 constituencies around Britain.       Read more

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Melanie Onn is the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Grimsby. I joined her with the #Pinkbus to highlight the fact that women in this area have been hit hard in this area since 2010. New figures show that actual wages are lower now than before David Cameron became PM and that is before the rising cost of living is factored in. We joined women from businesses across Grimsby at a local café to discuss what they would want to see from a future Labour Government and what they thought the Government could do to improve their lives.  They raised a number of issues including VAT, flexible working and maternity leave.

 

Woman to Woman - Grimsby

Melanie Onn is the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Grimsby. I joined her with the #Pinkbus to highlight the fact that women in this area have been hit hard in this...

Harriet Harman MP for Camberwell & Peckham said: “I'm disappointed that the Secretary of State has refused our request to take personal responsibility for this. As Secretary of State he should call this in and take day to day responsibility. It’s a daily nightmare for passengers - it should be a daily responsibility for the Secretary of State.  It’s not good enough to leave it to a junior minister. Network Rail and the train operators have passed the buck between themselves and they need to be brought in to have their heads banged together. Only when it’s dealt with at the highest level of government will there be any chance of the problems being resolved sooner rather than later. Passengers shouldn't have to put up with a further 18 months of this.

 

“We pressed the Secretary of State to ensure full compensation but were given no information about the plans they are considering. The current system of compensation is complex, time consuming and nowhere near adequate for what passengers have had to put up with. If the service is 50% down on what it should be, then a season ticket holder should automatically get a 50% refund for the lack of service, as well as additional compensation for the stress, inconvenience and extra expense. Many people have had higher costs as they've had to pay for alternative travel or more hours of childcare from being late home, or they've lost pay for missing time at work.

 

“The Government should have had a proper consultation with passengers about compensation to hear the full impact these service failures have had on people’s finances before they announce the compensation arrangements rather than just coming out with what we fear will be an inadequate announcement”. 

 

Note to Editors:

 

This morning Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, Jim Dowd and London Assembly Member Val Shawcross met the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, and Transport Minister Claire Perry, at the Department for Transport to demand the Government take immediate action to resolve the ongoing disruptions to train services and compensate passengers for the cost and inconvenience.

 

Press Release: Transport Secretary of State fails to get a grip on chaos at London Bridge and still no announcement about proper compensation for passengers' nightmares

Harriet Harman MP for Camberwell & Peckham said: “I'm disappointed that the Secretary of State has refused our request to take personal responsibility for this. As Secretary of State he...

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This morning Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, Jim Dowd and London Assembly Member Val Shawcross met the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, and Transport Minister Claire Perry, to demand that he take immediate control of the situation and urgent action to resolve the ongoing disruptions to services at London Bridge station, and compensate passengers for the cost and inconvenience.

 

South London MP's meet Secretary of State to demand action on London Bridge rail chaos

This morning Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, Jim Dowd and London Assembly Member Val Shawcross met the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, and Transport Minister Claire Perry,... Read more

Following months of delays and disruptions for passengers travelling to and from London Bridge, London MP’s are meeting with Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin on Wednesday 18th March to demand action from the Government after Network Rail and the train operator Southern Railways have failed to improve rail services for their constituents.

 

Harriet Harman MP for Camberwell & Peckham said:

 

“My constituents pay for and rightly expect a decent service from Southern Railway. It’s totally unacceptable that people are left waiting for hours and not knowing when the next train will arrive. And it’s not safe to leave large crowds jostling on narrow platforms as they worry about not getting to or from work and home on time.

 

“Many of my constituents use Southern Railways ‘Metro Line’ to travel to and from central London. Network Rail’s own performance data shows that in the last 12 months only 50% of trains on ‘Metro’ line services arrived on time. And in February 2015 this went down to a shocking 42%. Southern Railway also had the highest percentage of services cancelled in February with 8.2% of ‘Metro’ line services lost.

 

“Myself and South London MP’s Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, Jim Dowd and London Assembly Member Val Shawcross will be meeting the Secretary of State on Wednesday. We will be asking him to take immediate steps to:

 

*Provide clear leadership and better coordination between Network Rail and Southern Railway

 

*Review the management of London Bridge

 

*Improve communications with passengers

 

*Establish a fair and easy to use compensation system for all passengers affected

 

“It’s not good enough that passengers have had to deal with this chaos for so long. The Government must step in now and take immediate control to resolve situation”.

 

Harriet Harman urges Government to step in and sort rail chaos at London Bridge

Following months of delays and disruptions for passengers travelling to and from London Bridge, London MP’s are meeting with Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin on Wednesday 18th March to demand...

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Heritage funding too important to be used as a "jobs for the (Tory) boys"

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The TUC comprises 54 affiliated unions representing 6.2 million working people from all walks of life. Today was the first day of their annual women’s conference with over 300 delegates from across the UK meeting in London to discuss the issues faced by women at work, including inequality, and the impact on women of recession and austerity. The theme for the conference this year was ‘Equality not poverty – use your vote’. I spoke about the important job that women in the TUC do standing up for other working women and despite the progress we made there is still inequality and poverty in this country. The reality is that for women, who is in Number 10 following the Election will make a massive difference. Labour has a radical and realistic programme which will abolish the bedroom tax, rescue the NHS, increase the minimum wage and give further support for childcare.

TUC Women’s conference

The TUC comprises 54 affiliated unions representing 6.2 million working people from all walks of life. Today was the first day of their annual women’s conference with over 300 delegates... Read more

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