Harriet Harman

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

Current News

On the second stop of the Woman to Woman tour on Saturday 7th March I joined Parliamentary Prospective Candidate Dawn Butler at the packed-out Asian Women Resource Centre as part of their celebration for International Women’s Day.

The Asian Women Resource Centre provides vital support for women and children and a public voice for issues affecting Asian women locally and nationally.

We met with users of the centre, trustees, management and local women to discuss what matters to them ahead of the General Election in May. It was great to see so many women and local organisations represented. 

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Woman to Woman - Brent Central

On the second stop of the Woman to Woman tour on Saturday 7th March I joined Parliamentary Prospective Candidate Dawn Butler at the packed-out Asian Women Resource Centre as part of...

As part of Labour’s ‘Woman to Woman’ tour and to mark International Women’s Day, the pink bus made its way to Harrow East on Saturday to meet with Parliamentary Prospective Candidate Uma Kumaran.

It was a great turnout and I was pleased to be joined by Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions, Diane Abbott MP, Mary Honeyball MEP, and lots of local Party members. 

We talked to local residents on Harrow Weald High Road 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. 

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Woman to Woman – Harrow East

As part of Labour’s ‘Woman to Woman’ tour and to mark International Women’s Day, the pink bus made its way to Harrow East on Saturday to meet with Parliamentary Prospective Candidate...

Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP

Secretary of State for Transport

Great Minster House

33 Horseferry Road

London SW1P 4DR

 

9th March 2015

 

Dear Patrick,

I am writing to express my growing concern about the persistent disruptions to Southern Rail services to and from London Bridge, and I would like to meet with you as a matter of urgency.

You’ll be aware that the disruptions have been ongoing since December 2014 and the chaotic events at London Bridge on the 3rd March – severe overcrowding and extreme delays during the evening rush hour - affected many of my constituents.

My constituents rightly expect a decent service from Southern Rail. It’s totally unacceptable that people are left waiting for hours due to a multitude of problems including signal failure, train diversions and cancellations, faulty trains, and problems at level crossings.

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. It’s also a problem for elderly or disabled people who are left waiting for long periods of time, and then get caught in the crush trying to get on to a train. 

It’s not good enough for the Minister for Transport to say that she expects services to be improved within 4 weeks. The Government must step in now and take immediate control to resolve situation.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. 

Best wishes,

 

Harriet Harman

Goverment must step in to resolve rail chaos at London Bridge - Letter to Secretary of State for Transport

Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP Secretary of State for Transport Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR   9th March 2015   Dear Patrick, I am writing to...

Everyone knows that many people are fed up with politics and politicians – and think there’s no point in voting.  That’s even more the case for women than for men.  At the last election – in 2010 – more than one million London women didn’t vote at all.

That is a judgement on our politics.  We must ensure women feel that they have a democracy which they can have confidence in, with politicians who understand their lives and speak up for them.

Women in today’s Britain see themselves as equal to men – not second class citizens.  But even now, in the 21st century, women still lead lives which are very different to men.  More likely to be low paid, less likely to be in the boardroom.  More likely to be taking responsibility for children and older relatives – less likely to be getting promotion at work.

Our politics needs to recognise that, and our policies need to help women to make progress in their lives.  And that’s what Labour women believe in.  We’re in politics to ensure that women’s voices are heard and that decisions are made by women and men working together – not just men on their own.

A balanced team at the top of government will ensure that women have a say and that there’s an understanding of women’s lives.

In the run up to the General Election on May 7th we are going out and about all over the country in our Labour Women’s Campaign Bus.  And there’ll be lots of discussion online too.  We’ve got record numbers of great women Labour candidates and if we win the constituencies we are targeting we’ll have 150 Labour women MPs in Parliament speaking up for women in the country.

There’s been lots of controversy and news coverage about the colour of the bus.  But this is what you might not have seen in the news – 60% of those hit by the ‘Bedroom Tax’ are women; every week two women are killed by a husband or partner; women are still paid less than men; childcare is too expensive.  This is what Labour’s Woman to Woman campaign is about.

We’re saying to the millions of women who didn’t vote – politics is too important to be left to men alone!  Use your vote, have your say!  Politics matters to women as well as men.  And this election will be a watershed for women.

We’re highlighting Labour’s promise of 25 hours free childcare, our determination to tackle domestic violence, the need for more women MPs and councillors, the recognition that there’s a new generation of older women who are working as well as looking after grandchildren and older relatives, our plans for tougher action against unequal pay.

And we’ll be discussing with women what they want the next Government to do – and not to do.  So we’ll be meeting up with women in their workplaces, in shopping centres, in colleges and at school gates.  We’ve already brought the Campaign Bus to meet up with shoppers in Walworth Road and East Street Market.

It’s going to be a vibrant and important discussion and politics will be regenerated when women’s voices all around the country are heard loud and clear.

South London Press Column - Women need to have greater say in politics

Everyone knows that many people are fed up with politics and politicians – and think there’s no point in voting.  That’s even more the case for women than for men. ...

For many people living on the Gloucester Grove and North Peckham Estates the first signs of spring have come not a moment too soon.  They have had a horrible winter thanks to the failing of the estate heating system.  For months over the coldest part of the winter the heating and the hot water has been going off in 1,200 flats.  Tenants have told me about going to bed in their overcoat – and even then still not being able to keep warm.  People have spent money on buying electric heaters and then spent huge amounts on their electricity.  Some tried to keep warm by leaving the gas on.  Expensive – and dangerous too.  And the only way to get hot water was to heat it in the kettle.  People had to go out to escape the cold in their flats.  And that costs too.  All the expense and inconvenience was compounded by finding that the heating was back on – but only at half strength.  Or it was back on and then went off again.

The Council have had contractors constantly down there to try and sort it out.  But now that it’s back on there are two issues that need to be dealt with.  Firstly the compensation.  It’s not enough for the Council to ensure that people are not charged for the heating and hot water they didn’t get.  People must be compensated for the extra costs they have incurred.  And for the misery and inconvenience they have endured.  The Council’s housing budget has been slashed by the Government but even so the Council should not, and I’m sure will not, penny-pinch and haggle about the amount of compensation.  One tenant has been offered £25!  That does not begin to be enough.  So the Council needs to put a lot of effort into sorting out the compensation.  After such inconvenience the last thing that tenants need is to have to chase the Council for compensation.

The next thing that needs to be sorted out is ensuring that this doesn’t happen again next winter.  Huge estate boilers were built when the estate was built with the aim of ensuring a constant supply of heating and hot water to all the flats and a low cost.  The problem is that when it goes wrong it’s a huge problem to sort out and hundreds of tenants are hit.  The Council is now working out what to do for the future.  It’s important that the tenants have a big say in this.  They are not technicians but they are the people directly affected.  Some of the blocks have always had small boilers for each flat.  And now with “combi” boilers they can be small and cheap to run.

So let’s be sure that the tenants can be properly compensated for all the expense and inconvenience and look forward to being cosy indoors next winter.

*The print version of this article is slightly shorter.

Southwark News Column - Southwark Council must compensate and work with Gloucester Grove and North Peckham tenants to fix heating problems

For many people living on the Gloucester Grove and North Peckham Estates the first signs of spring have come not a moment too soon.  They have had a horrible winter...

In the week that we've seen British success at the Oscars, London Fashion Week and the Brits, no-one should be in any doubt about the importance of our film, our music and all our creative industries.

The basis of future jobs and investment in those creative industries depends on the protection of Intellectual Property.

Will he undertake to ensure that in the consideration of a European Digital Single Market:

  • He will be absolutely vigilant to protect our creative industries including SME's;
  • That he rethinks the paper that the Prime Minister has sent to Juncker which would allow for changes which would pose a real threat to many independent projects;
  • And will he insist there is time for proper consultation before its implementation. 

Department for Culture, Media and Sport Questions in Parliament

In the week that we've seen British success at the Oscars, London Fashion Week and the Brits, no-one should be in any doubt about the importance of our film, our...

During February constituents in Camberwell and Peckham have sent me 434 emails on 77 different policy issues – from tax avoidance to unlicensed puppy breeding.  Here’s a full breakdown of the issues people have raised:

 

  • HSBC and allegations of tax evasion and tax avoidance – 120

  • Serious Crime Bill – Sex-selective abortion amendment –  Vote For - 34

  • Serious Crime Bill - Sex-selective abortion amendment - Vote Against - 10

  • Support humane and sustainable farming – 31

  • Human rights in Palestine – 28

  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home campaign to end unlicensed breeding of puppies – 25

  • Cancer on the health agenda – 12

  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations – Vote For - 5

  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations – Vote Against - 7

  • Modern Slavery Bill – 12

  • Jim Fitzpatrick MP’s Wild Animals in Circuses (Private Member’s) Bill – 10

  • Westminster Hall dpebate on non-stun slaughter of animals on Monday 23rd February – 10

  • Living Streets campaign to support older pedestrians – 8

  • Support a NHS Reinstatement Bill to reverse privatisation – 6

  • Support a rental cap in London – 5

  • Energy Bill Revolution ‘End Cold Homes’ campaign – 5

  • Climate Change – 5

  • Infrastructure Bill – Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy – 4

  • Mental health – 4

  • Infrastructure Bill – community pubs – 4

  • Trident – constituents want to know your views – 4

  • Save the Children’s ‘Read On. Get On.’ campaign to improve literacy among children from disadvantaged backgrounds – 4

  • Constituents have contacted you saying privatisation of energy has been a disaster – 4

  • Alcohol Duty – Call on the Chancellor to make a 2% cut in the 2015 Budget – 4

  • Religious freedom – 3

  • EDM (Early Day Motion) 746 – The Big Palestinian Bike Ride3

  • Support a Nature and Wellbeing Act in Labour’s manifesto – 3

  • Serious Crime Bill – Support better legal protections for child abuse victims – 3

  • BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) and Cruelty Free International campaign to reduce the number of scientific experiments on animals – 2

  • Attend Backbench Commons debate on epilepsy on Thursday 26th February – 2

  • Immigration – Labour’s plans – 2

  • Westminster Hall debate on respiratory health on Tuesday 3rd February – 2

  • Social care and military compensation for veterans – 2

  • Ticket touts – 2

  • EDM 488 – Youth Services2

  • EDM 636 – Animal Welfare (No. 2)2

  • Tackle global violence against children – 2

  • Dementia care – 2

  • Labour’s announcement on paternity leave – 1

  • Equal pay transparency – 1

  • Breast cancer – drug treatment – 1

  • Support VSO’s (Voluntary Service Overseas) ‘Women in Power’ campaign – 1

  • Support standardised packaging for tobacco products – 1

  • A constituent emailed with concerns about the cost of childcare – 1

  • Protect the countryside and oppose major road-building projects – 1

  • 2015 Nigerian presidential election – 1

  • Teacher workload – 1

  • Opinion polls – 1

  • International Development and the UK’s role in helping developing countries – 1

  • Union of South American Nations dialogue with Venezuela – 1

  • UK help for Syrian refugees – 1

  • A GP who lives in the constituency emailed with concerns about the NHS – 1

  • Counter-terrorism powers – 1

  • EDM 646 – Rail Fares1

  • EDM 612 – Buffer Zones Around Abortion Clinics and Pregnancy Advice Bureaux1

  • EDM 648 – Employment of Supply Teachers1

  • EDM 445 – Naloxone Availability1

  • EDM 701 – Imprisonment of Human Rights Activists in Mauritania1

  • Ban letting agents fees for tenants – 1

  • Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend Scheme – 1

  • Use of antibiotics on farm animals – 1

  • Independent Living Fund – 1

  • Air pollution in the Middle East – 1

  • Pubs and Planning Regulations (England) debate on Thursday 12th February – 1

  • Mandatory scanning of pets found killed on the road – 1

  • Cats Protection's Manifesto for Cats campaign – 1

  • National Housing Federation’s Homes for Britain campaign – 1

  • Thameslink train services into central London – 1

  • Women’s pensions – 1

  • Attend British Lung Foundation event in Parliament on Wednesday 25th February – 1

  • Concerns about landlords checking the immigration status of tenants – 1

  • Multiple Sclerosis – 1

  • Support the Medical Innovation (Private Member’s) Bill – 1

  • Allegations of GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) hacking SIM card manufacturers – 1

  • Support the work of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) – 1

  • Support a Public Service Users Bill – 1

  • Labour’s proposals for GP access – 1

  • Attend rally in Parliament on Leveson on Wednesday 25th February – 1

  • Radioactive waste regulations – 1

     

Policy issues raised by constituents in Camberwell and Peckham

During February constituents in Camberwell and Peckham have sent me 434 emails on 77 different policy issues – from tax avoidance to unlicensed puppy breeding.  Here’s a full breakdown of the...

You can read my monthly newsletter for February 2015 here.

Monthly newsletter - February 2015

You can read my monthly newsletter for February 2015 here.

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The woman to woman pink bus arrived in Cambridge to a great reception this afternoon. Parliamentary Prospective Candidate Daniel Zeichner was there to meet us along with local activists and Cambridge students.

As well as local canvassing Daniel and I also met with representatives from the Cambridge Family Mediation Centre to discuss issues that are effecting women, including changes to legal aid.

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BBC Look East also came to talk about the woman to woman campaign which is scheduled to visit over 70 constituencies before the end of March but with more dates being added all of the time this number will definitely rise and visits will continue up until the General Election in May.

Woman to Woman - Cambridge

  The woman to woman pink bus arrived in Cambridge to a great reception this afternoon. Parliamentary Prospective Candidate Daniel Zeichner was there to meet us along with local activists...

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In Bedford this morning Patrick Hall, Parliamentary Candidate for Bedford met the Woman to Woman campaign bus tour in Cavendish Street. We were joined by a great group of activists to canvass in the local area.

Woman to Woman - Bedford

In Bedford this morning Patrick Hall, Parliamentary Candidate for Bedford met the Woman to Woman campaign bus tour in Cavendish Street. We were joined by a great group of activists... Read more

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London Fashion Week happens twice a year and I attended London Fashion Week’s opening breakfast to mark the start of the shows.  At the breakfast guests had the opportunity to hear from Natalie Massenet MBE, Chairman of the British Fashion Council (BFC), and James Mcarthur, BFC Business Pillar President.  They talked about the achievements of the British fashion industry and the importance it has both at home and abroad.  London Fashion Week is an opportunity for both well-known and newer brands to showcase their styles.

Attending London Fashion Week Opening Breakfast

London Fashion Week happens twice a year and I attended London Fashion Week’s opening breakfast to mark the start of the shows.  At the breakfast guests had the opportunity to...

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The Women to Women tour in arrived in Brighton Kemptown to a great reception this afternoon. Parliamentary Prospective Candidate Nancy Platts met us at the Open Art Gallery Café to meet with local women to talk about what matters to them. It was also good to meet with the café owner Juliet and discuss what matters to her ahead of the General Election in May.

Brighton Kemptown

  The Women to Women tour in arrived in Brighton Kemptown to a great reception this afternoon. Parliamentary Prospective Candidate Nancy Platts met us at the Open Art Gallery Café... Read more

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On the first stop of the Woman to woman tour today I met up with Sarah Owen, Parliamentary Prospective Candidate for Hastings & Rye at Rye Town Boxing Club. We got to meet with a great group of girls that use the club. Women and girls are less likely to participate in sport, and the purpose of this visit was to highlight the positive outcomes that participating in sport can bring for women and girls.

Hastings & Rye – Woman to Woman tour

On the first stop of the Woman to woman tour today I met up with Sarah Owen, Parliamentary Prospective Candidate for Hastings & Rye at Rye Town Boxing Club. We... Read more

As part of Labour’s ‘Woman to Woman’ campaign tour, the pink bus made its way to Bermondsey and Old Southwark in support of the Labour’s candidate, Neil Coyle.

It was a great turnout and I was pleased to be joined by Gloria De Piero MP, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Diane Abbott MP, London Assembly member Val Shawcross, local Labour councillors from across Southwark, including Lorraine Lauder MBE, and lots of Party members. 

We talked to local residents in East Street Market about the issues that will be a priority for them at the General Election in May. 

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Bermondsey and Old Southwark - 'Woman to Woman' tour

As part of Labour’s ‘Woman to Woman’ campaign tour, the pink bus made its way to Bermondsey and Old Southwark in support of the Labour’s candidate, Neil Coyle. It was...

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Following the national launch of the Woman to Woman the campaign will be launched in every region and nation before the end of March. Today was the London Launch in Croydon Central. In London 1.1 million women didn’t vote in 2010 – we want to ensure women use their vote at this years’ General Election. Arriving on the pink bus with Diane Abbott and Baroness Glenys Thornton we joined Parliamentary Candidate for Croydon Central, Sarah Jones for the event in the New Addington community centre which was attended by over 85 women, including community activists, representatives from organisations across Croydon and individuals interested in finding out more the campaign and contributing their views on what they would like a Government to deliver for them. Women raised a number of issues including childcare, the NHS and affordable housing

Woman to Woman - Croydon Central

Following the national launch of the Woman to Woman the campaign will be launched in every region and nation before the end of March. Today was the London Launch in...

Labour welcomes the publication of the Warwick Commission report. The Warwick Commission rightly emphasises the importance of the cultural and creative industries to individuals, communities and our economy. The cultural and creative industries were worth £76.9 billion to the British economy in 2013, or about five per cent of the economy as a whole. They rightly highlight that everyone should have access to the arts and that effective government backing for the arts requires better cross department working.

Ensuring that young people have the right education and skills to succeed is essential to build on the success of the cultural and creative industries and the report has rightly identified this. Arts and culture should be accessible to all, regardless of their background, and this will be a priority for the next Labour Government.

Response to the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value

Labour welcomes the publication of the Warwick Commission report. The Warwick Commission rightly emphasises the importance of the cultural and creative industries to individuals, communities and our economy. The cultural...

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The national launch of Labour’s women’s campaign – Woman to Woman was held today in Stevenage. Over 100 women joined at the event at the local leisure centre to celebrate the launch but also discuss the issues that mattered to them. A number of women Labour MPs attended including Gloria De Piero, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities; Lucy Powell, Vice Chair of the General Election campaign; Caroline Flint, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; Sharon Hodgson, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities; Diane Abbott MP and Baroness Thornton.  

 

Launching the women’s campaign in Stevenage

The national launch of Labour’s women’s campaign – Woman to Woman was held today in Stevenage. Over 100 women joined at the event at the local leisure centre to celebrate... Read more

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The Gloucester Grove estate is one of the largest estates in Peckham. The Tenant's Management Organisation (TMO) is responsible for managing the housing needs of all tenants and residents and I met Bassey Bassey (Chair of the TMO) and Abiola Olatunji (estate manager) to discuss residents concerns about the recent problems with heating and hot water.

Gloucester Grove Estate advice surgery and walkabout

The Gloucester Grove estate is one of the largest estates in Peckham. The Tenant's Management Organisation (TMO) is responsible for managing the housing needs of all tenants and residents and I... Read more

Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Gloria De Piero MP, Shadow Minister for women and equalities and Lucy Powell MP, Vice Chair of the Election campaign have today (Wednesday) launched Labour’s biggest ever women’s campaign to reach out to women across the country ahead of May’s General Election. Statistics published last month showed that 9.1 million women in the UK did not vote in 2010. 

Labour launches biggest ever women’s campaign: Woman to Woman

Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Gloria De Piero MP, Shadow Minister for women and equalities and Lucy Powell MP, Vice Chair of the Election campaign have... Read more

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This evening the Fabian Women’s Network celebrated its 10th Anniversary. I joined Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Home Office Minister for Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls and President of the Fabian Women’s Network and Ivana Bartoletti, Chair of the Fabian Women’s Network for the celebratory event.

Fabian Women's Network 10th Anniversary Reception

This evening the Fabian Women’s Network celebrated its 10th Anniversary. I joined Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Home Office Minister for Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls and President of the... Read more

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