Harriet Harman

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

We must mobilise support for world's poorest - 26/01/11

The British Shadow International Development Secretary and Labour Party Deputy Leader Harriet Harman MP has told EU policymakers of the need to boost popular support for aid to the world's poorest people.

On a visit to Brussels this week she took her message to EU foreign affairs supremo Baroness Ashton and International Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

Speaking after her visit Harriet Harman warned that government cutbacks risk undermining support for international development spending, stressing the need to "remobilise public opinion in support of building sustainable development, using aid as a driver for global equality."

During the visit Harriet Harman also met with a group of MEPs from the European Parliament's international development committee and Labour's sister organisation the Party of European Socialists.

She stressed the need for political parties to lead the way on global equality: "Twenty-first century politics must be about the representation of women and men, by women and men. This is a key issue for the left and an important argument that should be taken up by our political parties. But it is also an agenda that should be addressed within international bodies."

Welcoming Harriet Harman's visit, Labour's European spokesperson on international development, Michael Cashman MEP, said: "Harriet's message this week has not just been about what we can do to tackle poverty. She has been talking about how we can use our aid budgets to deliver true equality for people who currently have no voice. As politicians we have a duty to ensure people understand this work and, despite tough times at home, continue to support it."

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