Harriet Harman

Labour candidate for Camberwell and Peckham. I am not currently an MP as Parliament has been dissolved until after the General Election on 12th December 2019.

Current News

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Most of us are starting to change what we can day to day to minimise the harm we inflict on the planet and tackle climate change, whether it’s stopping using plastic carrier bags and disposable coffee cups, doing more recycling, using less water, driving less, or cutting down on our food waste.

Hundreds of Southwark people have contacted me about this and I’ve been so encouraged by the thousands of young people who’ve taken to the streets over the past few months to protest and demand government action on the climate crisis.

Southwark Council were one of the first councils to declare a climate emergency and this month they hosted their first Climate Change Summit, bringing together local residents, NGOs like Greenpeace and central government officials to develop a plan to ensure by 2030 Southwark achieves ‘carbon neutrality’ which means we are removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as we’re putting in.

But the good work of individuals, charities and Southwark Council will never be enough. It needs government action.

The science shows that unless governments back up local work and take strong action on climate change within the next 12 years, it will be too late.

The consequences of unchecked climate change would be catastrophic.  It's already a reality for millions of people around the world – with more wildfires, longer droughts and intense tropical storms. And it is the poorest and most vulnerable people who are always hit hardest. Climate change is forcing increasing numbers of people to abandon their homes and farms and become climate refugees. Last year, climate change displaced 16.1 million people. It is estimated that, by 2050, between 150 to 200 million people are at risk of being forced to leave their homes because of droughts, rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions.

Our government urgently needs to play its part in leading action against climate change. Everything the Government and Parliament does must be judged by whether we are making progress on reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

Labour has been leading the fight against climate change in Parliament. In May this year we voted to make the UK Parliament the first in the world to declare an “environment and climate emergency”.

But in the 2 months since then the Government has not taken any decisive action.

The UK is still not on track to meet our targets to cut our use of harmful coal and gas by 2030. 

The Government must use all their powers to achieve this – by increasing the use of clean energy sources such as wind and solar power, stopping big supermarkets using low grade and single use plastics, investing in buses, walking and cycling to cut car use and by making bus travel free for under 25s.

The children leading the climate change school strikes have made a powerful case. They are right to be worried about the kind of planet they will inherit.

We stand in solidarity with them. Their action is a wake up call to the Government and to all of us as MPs. We can see the science. It is our responsibility now to act.

We have the science. Now it's time for the Government to act on climate crisis

Most of us are starting to change what we can day to day to minimise the harm we inflict on the planet and tackle climate change, whether it’s stopping using...

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Everybody needs to use the internet and apps now for everything they need to do including to apply for jobs or get the benefits they are entitled to. As Chair of the Human Rights Committee I’m leading an inquiry into how we can protect people from human rights abuses as companies carry out extensive gathering of people’s personal data through their use of the internet. It is unrealistic to expect individuals to know about the risks they are taking, the risks to privacy and discrimination, and what steps companies and government should take to protect them. It cannot be down to the individual to know about this. There has to be a very strong regulatory regime. We will report later this year.

Protecting People’s Right to Privacy in the Digital Revolution

Everybody needs to use the internet and apps now for everything they need to do including to apply for jobs or get the benefits they are entitled to. As Chair...

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Great to visit committed staff team led by Headteacher James Robinson, parents & children at Camelot Primary School. Congratulations on your Good Ofsted report!

Camelot Primary School

Great to visit committed staff team led by Headteacher James Robinson, parents & children at Camelot Primary School. Congratulations on your Good Ofsted report!

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Important and powerful case made by Sacred Heart students in Parliament for UK overseas aid to support communities hit by climate change, conflict & famine. I’m backing them all the way on this!

Sacred Heart pupils lobby MPs

Important and powerful case made by Sacred Heart students in Parliament for UK overseas aid to support communities hit by climate change, conflict & famine. I’m backing them all the way on this!...

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Parliamentary Select Committees are in the ascendancy, carving out a powerful new role in our Brexit-riven Parliament. Led by so-called ‘big beasts’ including Yvette Cooper, Hilary Benn & Sarah Wollaston they have grown in authority. This has been an invaluable rebalancing between the Government & Parliament—in Parliament’s favour.

40 years of Select Committees—speech

Parliamentary Select Committees are in the ascendancy, carving out a powerful new role in our Brexit-riven Parliament. Led by so-called ‘big beasts’ including Yvette Cooper, Hilary Benn & Sarah Wollaston...

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Moving service at St Giles Church for the 3 women & 3 young children who lost their lives in the Lakanal House fire in 2009 & for all those affected by the tragedy. Thanks to Dave Lewis, Sceaux Gardens Tenants' Association & local councillors Ian Wingfield, Radha Burgess & Jason Ochere for their support to the community.

Remembering Lakanal: 10 years on

Moving service at St Giles Church for the 3 women & 3 young children who lost their lives in the Lakanal House fire in 2009 & for all those affected...

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Impossible to overstate the importance of tackling climate change. Thanks to everyone who came to Parliament to demand action!

Read my South London Press article here.

 

Backing Time is Now Climate Crisis lobby

Impossible to overstate the importance of tackling climate change. Thanks to everyone who came to Parliament to demand action! Read my South London Press article here.  

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Monthly report - May / June 2019

Read more

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Access to affordable, quality childcare is essential for parents to able to work and it helps children get a good start in their life.

 

Yet after all the progress on childcare when Labour were last in government, working parents are now finding it harder to get the childcare they need.

 

Under this Tory government since 2010, the cost of childcare is rising faster than people’s wages. 1,000 Sure Start children’s centres across the country have closed and many more have reduced the services they provide.  

 

And this is hitting hard-working parents in Southwark.  

 

The Government’s scheme of 30 hours free childcare a week for 3 and 4 year olds is not working. Because The Government has failed to ensure that funding keeps up with the rising costs of providing childcare for nurseries to actually deliver the extra hours of free care the Government has promised parents.

 

Providers are being asked to deliver more, whilst facing a real term funding cut between now and 2020. The current funding level was set almost 4 years and doesn’t take into account significant operating cost increases in that time, such as business rate rises, rent, increases to the National Minimum Wage and pensions.

 

This has left parents and child carers subsidising the Government’s new offer. Which is simply not sustainable.

If this funding crisis continues, more childcare centres will close. More parents will be unable to afford a childcare place meaning they will be unable to work and earn for their family. This hits single parents and those on low incomes disproportionately hard.

 

I am backing the parent-led Early Years Alliance’s Fair Future Funding campaign and will continue to do all I can in Parliament to demand the Government properly funds universal childcare. All parents with children in primary school must have the certainty that childcare is available from 8am to 6pm.

 

Universal childcare is the missing part of our welfare state - a product of an old reality decades ago, where women did not get to go out to work, but stayed home to look after children. We need a universal free childcare system to reflect the reality of parents’ lives today and to liberate parents from the expense and worry of juggling home and work.

Universal childcare is the missing part of the welfare state - Southwark News Column

Access to affordable, quality childcare is essential for parents to able to work and it helps children get a good start in their life.   Yet after all the progress...

Attacks on MPs are not just criminality against individuals; even more importantly than that, it is a fundamental attack on our democracy.

How does the hon. Gentleman think we should address this issue? Obviously, there are actions the Government need to take, and we know they are concerned, but in a way the issue is wider than that. It is an issue for all the parties and for the House as a whole, not just for the Government. What does he think about the mechanisms for taking action? One of the things I have considered—I do not know whether he thinks this is a good idea or whether he has an alternative proposal—is that we should have a Speaker’s conference on this issue. That would need the Government’s support. It would bring together the CPS, the police, the political parties. 

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that that might be a way to go beyond discussion and take action?

Read the full debate in Parliament here

Tackling Intimidation in Public Life - Speaking in Westminster Hall Debate

Attacks on MPs are not just criminality against individuals; even more importantly than that, it is a fundamental attack on our democracy. How does the hon. Gentleman think we should...

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