Harriet Harman

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

Current News

Camberwell and Peckham has the largest West African diaspora community in the country.  My constituents will be very concerned about the recent outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.

Ebola - My letters to the Government - 7/8/14

Camberwell and Peckham has the largest West African diaspora community in the country.  My constituents will be very concerned about the recent outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea... Read more

As high profile celebrities – like Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and Max Clifford – go to prison for sexually abusing children, there's been much talk of "historic" sex abuse.  But for the people who were sexually abused as children and who are now adults, it is usually anything but "historic".  The effects of child abuse can stay with the victim long into their adulthood.  Some say the torment of emotions they are left with give them feelings of inability to trust other people in relationships, despair they were not listened to or believed at the time.  Angry they had no-one to protect them, or to confide in.  Doubts and feelings of self-loathing about why they "let it happen" or "didn't stop it".

If you've suffered sexual abuse as a child, reported it and were not believed or told to keep quiet about it, it is often the case that the accusation of lying makes the suffering of the abuse even worse. 

So prosecuting abusers – even decades later – is vital. 

These trials send out an important message to other abusers, that you can’t get away with it just because the victim is vulnerable and it was long ago.  Even if it takes years, the law will catch up with you. 

And it is only when abuse is proved in a court that the institutions that have been used by the abuser face up to what's gone on and take action.  It took years for the Catholic Church to acknowledge the true scale of sex abuse by priests.  Now, after the Jimmy Savile revelations, the BBC and Hospitals are much more careful.  And it will be the case with other institutions

So, even though trials of offences which took place long ago are more difficult, and the offender is now elderly, it is still important to prosecute.

People often say it’s unfair to name the suspect while the victim remains anonymous.  But in our legal system justice must not only be done but “be seen to be done”.  It is dangerous to let the criminal justice system try a defendant in secret.  So, traumatic though it is for the defendant, especially if they are acquitted, it is important for the accused to be named.  You can’t have one rule for sex offences trials and another for other trials.  That would imply that, uniquely in sex cases, the victim is likely to be lying.  And when the defendant’s name is reported it often gives other victims the confidence to come forward thereby helping the prosecution and ensuring that that victim gets justice.

Some people say that this latest spate of sex abuse trials is a witchhunt.  My view is that it is justice for people who were abused as vulnerable children, will protect other children in the future, and is long overdue.

South London Press column: Victims of child abuse - 25/07/2014

As high profile celebrities – like Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and Max Clifford – go to prison for sexually abusing children, there's been much talk of "historic" sex abuse.  But...

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Southwark Pensioner's Centre celebrated its 100th anniversary with a 'Party in the Park' on Camberwell Green for its members, volunteers and supporters.

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Southwark Pensioner's Centre 100th Anniversary - 25/7/14

Southwark Pensioner's Centre celebrated its 100th anniversary with a 'Party in the Park' on Camberwell Green for its members, volunteers and supporters.

Olympics 1

Supporting more people of all ages and all backgrounds was the theme of my keynote speech at the Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Park today, where I launched a Labour Party consultation document More Sport for All.

More Sport for All launch – 24/07/2014

Supporting more people of all ages and all backgrounds was the theme of my keynote speech at the Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Park today, where I launched a Labour Party... Read more

If Festival Discussion

Friday saw the official launch of this years’ IF festival in Milton Keynes and launch of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Parnership’s Cultural Strategy with Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, Dr Ann Limb, Chair of South East Midlands Partnership, Councillor Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council and Monica Ferguson, Festival Director.

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2014 – 18/07/2014

Friday saw the official launch of this years’ IF festival in Milton Keynes and launch of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Parnership’s Cultural Strategy with Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair... Read more

Report on my constituency activities July 2014 - 18/07/2014

You can read my report by clicking here

IWM 1

The Imperial War Museum’s re- opened today with a major exhibition on World War 1.  Congratulations are due to all those involved in this major redevelopment. 

Imperial War Museum launch - 17/07/2014 `

The Imperial War Museum’s re- opened today with a major exhibition on World War 1.  Congratulations are due to all those involved in this major redevelopment.  Read more

Referendum Bus

On 18th September Scotland will have a referendum on Scottish Independence. The decision will have a lasting impact, not just on Scotland, but on the whole of the UK.

Scotland “Stay with us” – 16/07/2014

On 18th September Scotland will have a referendum on Scottish Independence. The decision will have a lasting impact, not just on Scotland, but on the whole of the UK. Read more

LeSoCo

Today I met the Interim Principal of LeSoCo, Ioan Morgan, who talked to me about plans to improve further education services for students on the college's Camberwell site. The meeting was productive and we discussed how, working with Southwark Council, LeSoCo can move forward and ensure high quality further education is locally accessible.

Meeting with LeSoCo Interim Principal - 16/7/14

Today I met the Interim Principal of LeSoCo, Ioan Morgan, who talked to me about plans to improve further education services for students on the college's Camberwell site. The meeting...

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This morning I joined local councillors Fiona Colley, Sunil Chopra and Sandra Rhule to meet parents and carers at the school gate at Hollydale Primary school in Nunhead. It was good to meet the Head Teacher, Reema Reid, and talk to some of the pupils at the Breakfast Club.

Hollydale Primary School visit - 16/7/14

This morning I joined local councillors Fiona Colley, Sunil Chopra and Sandra Rhule to meet parents and carers at the school gate at Hollydale Primary school in Nunhead. It was...

One Nation Fizz
One Nation Fizz, a new book edited by Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, Diana Johnson MP and Barbara Keeley MP was launched yesterday.

Attending the launch of One Nation Fizz – 16/07/2014

One Nation Fizz, a new book edited by Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, Diana Johnson MP and Barbara Keeley MP was launched yesterday. Read more

Lbc

This evening I joined Iain Dale on LBC for my monthly hour long phone in. We had a lively discussion and I took a series of wide ranging questions from callers across the country

LBC - Phone In w/Iain Dale - 14/07/2014

This evening I joined Iain Dale on LBC for my monthly hour long phone in. We had a lively discussion and I took a series of wide ranging questions from callers...

APPG Women Report

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Women today launched a report and held a reception in the Speaker’s House which I attended. The report makes a number of good suggestions. It is important we now have action.

Women in Parliament report launch – 14/07/2014

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Women today launched a report and held a reception in the Speaker’s House which I attended. The report makes a number of good suggestions....

On Thursday evening I was out campaigning with local ward councillors Mark Williams and Radha Burgess and local Labour Party members in Sceaux Gardens in Camberwell. It was good to talk to residents and hear that things are going well on the estate.

Campaigning in Sceaux Gardens, Camberwell - 10/7/14 `

On Thursday evening I was out campaigning with local ward councillors Mark Williams and Radha Burgess and local Labour Party members in Sceaux Gardens in Camberwell. It was good to...

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This morning I joined residents of the Bonamy Estate for an advice surgery and walkabout with Pat Hickson and Kieri Pieri from the Tenant's Association, local councillors Richard Livingstone and Evelyn Akoto, and Ifeanyi Onabu, Robertson Egueye, Michael Mann and Sharron Smith from Southwark Council.

Bonamy Estate advice surgery & walkabout - 10/7/14

This morning I joined residents of the Bonamy Estate for an advice surgery and walkabout with Pat Hickson and Kieri Pieri from the Tenant's Association, local councillors Richard Livingstone and...

TUC Women Officer's Summer School
The TUC Women’s Officers’ Summer School was set up 10 years ago with the aim to develop the next generation of women trade union leaders.

TUC Women Officers’ Summer School – 9/07/2014

The TUC Women’s Officers’ Summer School was set up 10 years ago with the aim to develop the next generation of women trade union leaders. Read more

Speaker's Lecture

The Speaker’s lecture series was set up by the Speaker, John Bercow in 2011 to mark the centenary of the Parliament Act 1911. The first series covered some of the main political figures of the century. This year the series concentrated on individual policy areas. I was invited to speak about Parliament and Equality.  To read my speech please click here.

Speaker’s Lecture – Equality in Parliament – 08/07/2014

The Speaker’s lecture series was set up by the Speaker, John Bercow in 2011 to mark the centenary of the Parliament Act 1911. The first series covered some of the...

Tour

Today the 3rd stage of the Tour de France came to an end in London. The atmosphere was brilliant, the crowds were huge and all the riders & teams were great.

Next, Stage 4 -  Le Touquet-Paris-Plage > Lille Métropole

Tour de France - Stage 3 London - 07/07/2014

Today the 3rd stage of the Tour de France came to an end in London. The atmosphere was brilliant, the crowds were huge and all the riders & teams were...

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This morning I visited Harris Boys Academy East Dulwich in Peckham Rye to meet with students and staff. Many thanks to the Principal, Chris Everett, for showing me around.

Harris Boys Academy East Dulwich visit - 09/07/2014

This morning I visited Harris Boys Academy East Dulwich in Peckham Rye to meet with students and staff. Many thanks to the Principal, Chris Everett, for showing me around.

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Today I met with Southwark Council Leader Peter John at his office in Tooley Street. We discussed the importance of parents being happy with their local schools, scholarships for young people to attend local art colleges and the Peckham Rye station area re-development.

Meeting Southwark Council Leader Peter John - 2/7/14

Today I met with Southwark Council Leader Peter John at his office in Tooley Street. We discussed the importance of parents being happy with their local schools, scholarships for young...

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