Harriet Harman

Parliament has been dissolved until after the General Election and I am no longer an MP

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

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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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

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...

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. ...

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