Harriet Harman: Wikis


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The Right Honourable
 Harriet Harman 

Assumed office 
24 June 2007
Leader Gordon Brown
Preceded by John Prescott

Assumed office 
24 June 2007
Leader Gordon Brown
Preceded by Hazel Blears

Assumed office 
28 June 2007
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Jack Straw

Assumed office 
28 June 2007
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Ruth Kelly (Minister for Women)

In office
11 June 2001 – 10 May 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Ross Cranston
Succeeded by Mike O'Brien

In office
3 May 1997 – 27 July 1998
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Peter Lilley
Succeeded by Alastair Darling

In office
3 May 1997 – 27 July 1998
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by The Baroness Jay of Paddington

Member of Parliament
for Camberwell and Peckham
Peckham (1982–1997)
Assumed office 
28 October 1982
Preceded by Harry Lamborn
Majority 13,483 (46.5%)

Born 30 July 1950 (1950-07-30) (age 59)
Marylebone, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Jack Dromey
Alma mater University of York
Profession Lawyer
Website Official website

Harriet Ruth Harman (born 30 July 1950) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham since the 1997 general election, having previously been the Member of Parliament for Peckham from a by-election in 1982 until its abolition. In 2007, she became the Deputy Leader and Party Chair of the Labour Party, and currently serves in the Cabinet as Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal and Minister for Women and Equality.[1]


Early life

She was born in London to the Harley Street physician John Bishop Harman FRCP and his wife Anna (née Spicer), a solicitor. Her parents both came from non conformist backgrounds — her grandfather Nathaniel Bishop Harman was a prominent Unitarian[2] and the Spicer family were well known congregationalists.

She was educated at the independent St Paul's Girls' School and the University of York, where she gained a BA in Politics. Between 1978 and 1982, she was legal officer for the National Council for Civil Liberties and as such was found in contempt of court by Sir Hugh Park in the important civil liberties case Home Office v. Harman [1983] 1 A.C. 280, 308 (the conviction for contempt being upheld on appeal),[3] before becoming MP for Peckham in a by-election in 1982.

Harman was later involved in a European Court of Human Rights case against MI5 after it was revealed by whistleblower Cathy Massiter in 1984 that personal files were held by MI5 on her and another leading member of the NCCL — Patricia Hewitt.[4] They successfully argued that there had been an infringement of their rights because MI5 was not a legally constituted and democratically accountable organisation, this being the minimum standard in democracy.[4] The success of the case led to enactment of the Security Services Act 1989.[4]

Member of Parliament

In the by-election held on 28 October 1982, she was elected Member of Parliament for Southwark, Peckham with a majority of 3,931 votes. She became Labour's front-bench spokeswoman for social services in 1984, and then health in 1987. After the 1992 general election she entered the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1992–1994); and later served as Shadow Employment Secretary (1994–1995), Shadow Health Secretary (1995–1996) and Shadow Social Security Secretary (1996–1997).[5] Harman is a committed feminist, having said, "I am in the Labour Party because I am a feminist. I am in the Labour Party because I believe in equality."[6] Because of her unabashed feminism, her detractors have given her the nickname, 'Harriet Harperson'.[7][8]

In government

After Labour's victory in the 1997 general election, she became Secretary of State for Social Security and was given the task of reforming the Welfare State. During this time, her more notable policies included introducing a minimum income guarantee and winter fuel payments for the elderly.[9] It was later ruled that the fuel payments policy breached European sex discrimination laws due to the fact men were forced to wait five years longer to receive them than women.[10] The policy was amended so both sexes qualified at age 60. Harman was sacked from the position in 1998. According to many in the media, this was the result of a series of public rows with junior minister Frank Field, though others also cited her decision to cut benefits to lone parents as a factor.[11]

Harman made a return to the front bench after the 2001 general election, with her appointment to the office of Solicitor General, thus becoming the first female Solicitor General. In accordance with convention, she was appointed as Queen's Counsel, although she was never a barrister and had no rights of audience in the higher courts.

Minister of Justice

After the 2005 general election, she became a Minister of State in the Department for Constitutional Affairs with responsibilities including constitutional reform, legal aid and court processes.

On 16 March 2006, Harman relinquished her ministerial responsibilities for electoral administration and reform of the House of Lords. She stated that this was to avoid any potential conflict of interest after her husband Jack Dromey, the Treasurer of the Labour Party, announced that he would be investigating a number of loans made to the Labour Party that had not been disclosed to party officers. She retained her other responsibilities.[12]

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

Harman announced her intention to stand for Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party when John Prescott stood down.[13] On 27 November 2006 Patrick Wintour reported that she had commissioned an opinion poll that had found that she would be more popular with the electorate than any of the other likely candidates. She used this point to argue that she should become the next Deputy Prime Minister of the UK in an interview with the BBC.[14]

Harman did not have the support of any major unions, and helped to fund her campaign for deputy leadership by taking out a personal loan of £10,000[15] and a £40,000 extension to her mortgage.[16] Harman failed to report some donations and loans on time, and was subject to an Electoral Commission inquiry for breaches of electoral law. The commission said that her "failure to report on time is a serious matter" though the case was not handed over to the police.[17]

On 24 June 2007, in what was a close contest Harman was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.[18] Alan Johnson had led in all but the first of the previous rounds, but when second-preference votes had been redistributed after the fourth round, Harman stood elected with 50.43% of the vote to Johnson's 49.56%[19]

Return to Cabinet

Harman is known as a long term supporter of Gordon Brown and regarded as a personal friend.[20] On 28 June 2007, she was appointed to sit in newly-appointed Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Cabinet as Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal and Minister for Women and Equality (combining these post with the Deputy Leadership and Chairmanship of the Labour Party). However, unlike the previous Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, John Prescott, Harman was not given the title of 'Deputy Prime Minister'.

When Harman, as Leader of the House of Commons, stood in for Gordon Brown during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday 2 April 2007 (due to the Prime Minister attending a NATO summit in Romania), she became the first female Labour Minister to take Prime Minister's Questions. She has since regularly filled in during Brown's absences.

Harman attacked the Conservative Party at the Labour Party Conference 2007, referring to them as the "nasty party" and suggesting that there will be little competition at the next election.[21]

In April 2008, Harman's blog was "hacked" and changed to state that she had joined the Conservative Party. Harman later admitted when questioned by Sky News that the incident was a result of her using "Harriet" and "Harman" as her username and password.[22][23]

Voting record

Harman has supported the Labour government and voted with the party in all but a few instances. She supported the Iraq War, although during the Deputy Leadership campaign, she said that she would not have voted for it had she been in full possession of the facts, specifically about the lack of concrete evidence of weapons of mass destruction.[24][25]

Political positions and controversies

View of families

Harman has received criticism from the right wing and conservative press for her perceived views on families. Erin Pizzey criticised the views expressed by Harman and other leading female Labour figures in the 1990 IPPR report "The Family Way". Writing in the Daily Mail, she accused the report of being a "staggering attack on men and their role in modern life" as a result of her stating "it cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social cohesion".[26] Leo McKinstry also writing in the Daily Mail, called her "hardline", and accused her of "hating marriage".[27]

In contrast, others, including Adrienne Burgess have stated that some of the stated goals of "The Family Way" were "the formation of strong, loving and lasting bonds between fathers and their children",[28] and the encouragement of men to assume more responsibility for their children and partners, with a focus on "inter-dependence" in family relationships as opposed to women's "independence."[29]

In May 2008 an interview she gave to Civitas Harman stated that marriage was irrelevant to government policy and that there was "no ideal type of household in which to bring up children".[30]

Choice of school

In 1996, Harman sent her younger son, Joseph, to the non-Catholic St Olave's Grammar School, Orpington, after she had sent her eldest son, Harry, to a Catholic grant-maintained school the London Oratory School, on the grounds that her family were Catholic. This appeared to go against the spirit of the pledge by David Blunkett not to increase selective education. Harman said of her choice: "This is a state school that other children in my son's class will be going to...and admission is open to every child in Southwark irrespective of money or who their parents are."[31]

Fathers' rights protests

In June 2008, two members of Fathers 4 Justice, Mark Harris and Jolly Stanesby, staged a protest on the roof of her house in Herne Hill, south east London. Harris and Stanesby displayed a banner that read: "A father is for life not just conception." After they climbed back off the roof they were arrested by the Metropolitan Police and bailed until 16 July 2008.[32] On the morning of 9 July 2008, another Fathers 4 Justice protest began on the same roof. Nigel Ace and Tony Ashby displayed a banner reading "Stop war on dads."[33] One of the complaints of the protesters was that Harman had refused their requests for a meeting yet she denied that they had even requested such a meeting.[34] In response, Fathers 4 Justice founder Matt O'Connor stated he approached Harman for a meeting via his MP, Mark Oaten but was rejected.[34][35]

Motoring convictions

In 2003, Harman was fined £400 and banned from driving for seven days after being convicted of driving at 99 mph (159 km/h) on a motorway, 29 mph (47 km/h) above the speed limit.[36] The size of the fine was described as lenient by the Automobile Association given that Harman's salary at the time was £125,000 per year.[37]

On 7 April 2007, Harman was issued with a £60 fixed penalty notice and given three penalty points on her licence for driving at 50 mph (80 km/h) in a portion of the A14 in Suffolk that had a temporary 40 mph (64 km/h) limit. Harman paid the fine several months late and avoided appearing at Ipswich magistrates court.[38] A Labour Party source said of her failure to pay the fine: "She made an innocent mistake. She forgot to pay on time because she was spending all her time on the deputy leadership contest touring the country."[39]

In April 2008 Harman was again caught breaking the speed limit, this time in a 30 mph zone. She received a further 3 points on her driving licence for the offence.[40]

On 8 January 2010 Harman pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention in relation to an incident on 3 July where she stuck another vehicle whilst driving using a mobile phone. She had previously "strongly refuted" the allegations and had claimed she would "deny the charges".[41] Harman was fined £350, ordered to pay £70 costs, a £15 victim surcharge and had three points added to her licence. A second charge of driving whilst using a mobile phone was withdrawn and no action was taken over claims she had left the scene without exchanging registration and insurance details.[42] A spokesperson said, "Ms Harman is pleased that it has been established that this was not a 'hit-and-run' accident as portrayed in some media reports. It was a parking incident and no damage was done."[43] Road safety organisations such as Brake condemned the leniency of the punishment and decision to drop the charge of driving whilst using a mobile phone[44], however the judge defended the decision stating that "Ms Harman’s guilty plea to driving without due care and attention included her admitting that she had been using a mobile phone at the time".[45] As a result of the case Harman became the first serving Cabinet minister in memory to plead guilty to a criminal offence.[46]

Campaign donation from David Abrahams

In November 2007, it emerged that property developer David Abrahams' secretary Janet Kidd had given a donation of £5,000 donor to Harman's successful deputy leadership bid.[47] After an investigation by The Mail on Sunday newspaper into other donations made by people associated with Abrahams, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown's assertion that all such monies would be returned, Harman issued a statement saying she accepted the donation on 4 July "in good faith," had registered the monies with the Electoral Commission and the Register of Members' Interests, and that she "was not aware of any funding arrangements... between David Abrahams and Janet Kidd".[48] Harman was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 PM programme on 27 November 2007 and was evasive when asked to confirm or deny that her campaign team had contacted Kidd soliciting money and was unable to answer this question directly, preferring to change the subject. On 28 November the BBC's Nick Robinson reported on his blog[49] that Ms Harman had now revealed that her team "may" have asked Kidd for a donation. The blog entry goes on to wonder whether Kidd informed the campaign team at that point that she was acting as a proxy. Margaret Jay, Baroness Jay of Paddington, who was working on the deputy leadership of Hilary Benn, questioned and turned down a similar donation of £5,000 by Kidd; but it was subsequently accepted by Benn's team when made under the name of Mr Abrahams.[48] Kidd offered another donation to the leadership campaign of Gordon Brown, but was turned down as she was not a known donor.[50]

Stab vest for constituency walkabout

On 1 April 2008 the Daily Mail reported that Harman had decided to wear a kevlar-reinforced stab vest while touring her Peckham constituency under police guard.[51] On 2 April The Guardian relayed information from the Metropolitan Police that "the type of Met Vest she wore over her jacket protected her from knife attacks and bullets, and, for her at least, was optional".[52] Harman compared the decision to wearing a hard hat while touring a building site, which led the BBC's John Humphrys to respond, during an interview for BBC Radio 4, "You wear a hard hat on a building site because... there is the danger that something might drop on your head. You don't need to wear a bullet-proof vest on the streets of London, do you!" Harman told the BBC that the neighbourhood police team she was with put on their stab vests and gave her one to wear as well.[53]

Equality Bill

As part of a proposed Equality Bill, Harman announced a consultation on changing the existing discrimination laws, which included options for Reverse Discrimination in employment. Under the proposals, employers would be legally allowed to discriminate in favour of a job candidate on the basis of their race or gender where the candidates were otherwise equally qualified. Employers would not be required to use these powers, but would be able to do so without the threat of legal action for discriminatory practices. Harman has stated that this proposal would not simply involve discrimination against white males, and that men will benefit in some circumstances; for example if a school wanted to balance a predominantly female workforce by discriminating in favour of employing a male teacher.[54] The white paper also proposed measures to end age discrimination, promote transparency in organisations and introduce a new equality duty on the public sector.[55] These changes, if made, could face a challenge under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, language, religion and on several other criteria.[56] Michael Millar, writing in The Spectator was of the opinion that, "The Equality Bill before parliament today gives employers the right to choose an ethnic minority candidate or female candidate over a white male, specifically because they are an ethnic minority or female."[57] Some commentators, however, such as Graham Kirby, writing for the blogging site The Samosa, have defended the act as essentially meritocratic and necessary [58].

Harman also commissioned a report on allowing political parties to draw up all-black shortlists[59] designed to increase the number of black MPs in Westminster. A further report proposed extended the arrangement allowing all-women shortlists beyond 2015[60] which will fail to have any impact in the 2010 General Election[61] These proposals are supported by members of the three major parties, though no others allow discrimination in their shortlists.[62] Inside the Labour Party, Harman has said she does "not agree with all-male leaderships" because men "cannot be left to run things on their own"; and that, consequently, one of Labour's top two posts should always be held by a woman.[63]

She has backed plans for an increase in the number of homosexual MPs, and has suggested that 39 openly gay MPs should be in the next Parliament. The target is based on an official estimate that six per cent of Britain is homosexual; however, such targets have been criticised for failing to take account of gay MPs who prefer to keep their sexuality private.[64]

MPs' expenses

In January 2009, Harman proposed a rule change to exempt MPs' expenses from the Freedom of Information Act. Her parliamentary order aimed to remove "most expenditure information held by either House of Parliament from the scope of the Freedom of Information Act". It meant that, under the law, journalists and members of the public would no longer be entitled to learn details of their MP's expenses. Labour MPs were to be pressured to vote for this measure by use of a three line whip. Her proposal was withdrawn when the Conservative Party said they would vote against, and an online campaign by mySociety.[65] The failure of the motion led to the disclosure of expenses of British Members of Parliament.

Use of statistics

In March 2009 Harman was criticised for anti-male bias over the issue of the impact of the recession. After a government report suggested that women were twice as likely to lose their jobs as men and feared losing their jobs more than men, Harman stated "we will not allow women to become the victims of this recession".[66] However, some statistics contradicted her position, including the Office for National Statistics report on the issue which stated "the economic downturn in 2008 has impacted less on women in employment than men" According to the ONS men were losing their jobs at twice the rate of women. The Government Equalities Office insisted the ONS figures did not render pointless its efforts to help women.[67][68][69]

In June 2009, Sir Michael Scholar, head of the UK Statistics Authority, wrote to Harman to warn her that different headline figures used by the ONS and Government Equalities Office with regards to pay differentiation between men and women might undermine public trust in official statistics. The GEO's headline figure was 23%, which was based on median hourly earnings of all employees, not the 12.8%, based on median hourly earnings of full-time employees only, used by the ONS. Scholar wrote: "It is the Statistics Authority’s view that use of the 23% on its own, without qualification, risks giving a misleading quantification of the gender pay gap".[70] . The Equalities Office rejected his criticism, saying: 'With women representing over three-quarters of the part-time workforce, we believe this figure gives the fullest picture of the country's gender pay gap.'.[71]

Personal life

Harman married Jack Dromey in 1982 in the borough of Brent, after meeting him on the picket line of the Grunwick dispute in 1977; she was legal advisor to the Grunwick Strike Committee. They have two sons (born February 1983 and November 1984) and a daughter (born January 1987), all of whom have the surname "Harman".[72] Labour colleague Patricia Hewitt is godmother to one of her children.[11] She has a house in Suffolk,[38] in addition to her home in Herne Hill, South London.[73]

Family connections

Harman has notable family connections. Her father was a brother of Elizabeth Longford, the writer who wrote biographies of, amongst others, Queen Victoria and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Lady Longford was married to Francis Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford, the politician, author and social reformer. Harman's first cousins include the writers Thomas Pakenham, Lady Rachel Billington and the historian Lady Antonia Fraser. Fraser was married to Harold Pinter, and was once married to the politician Sir Hugh Fraser and is the mother of Flora Fraser, another writer. Also, Harman's great-grandparents were Arthur Chamberlain and Louisa Kenrick. Arthur Chamberlain was the brother of Joseph Chamberlain, the social reformer and radical politician who served under Gladstone and Salisbury. Louisa's cousin Harriet married Joseph Chamberlain and they were the parents of Sir Austen Chamberlain, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary. Louisa Kenrick's sister Florence married Joseph Chamberlain after Harriet's death and they were the parents of Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1937-1940.

In May 2009, tabloid newspaper The Sun published a discovery by amateur genealogist Tony Andrews that Harman is related to David Cameron through her aunt's marriage to his great uncle.[74]


  • Miss Harriet Harman (1950–1982)[75]
  • Ms Harriet Harman MP (1982–1997)[75][76]
  • The Rt. Hon. Harriet Harman MP (1997–2005)
  • The Rt. Hon. Harriet Harman QC MP (2005–)


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  48. ^ a b "Harman took cash 'in good faith'". BBC News online. 27 November 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7115016.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  49. ^ Nick Robinson (28 November 2007). "Someone else knew (and sorry Harriet & Janet)". Nick Robinson's Newslog. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2007/11/someone_else_di.html. Retrieved 2007-12-24. "Harriet Harman has accepted that her campaign may have asked Janet Kidd for a donation after seeing her name on the list of Labour's donors." 
  50. ^ "Brown admits donations 'unlawful'". BBC News online. 27 November 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7114327.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  51. ^ Ben Brogan (1 April 2008). "Harriet Harman: Wearing a stab-proof vest in my constituency is the same as donning a hard hat on a building site". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=552428&in_page_id=1770. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  52. ^ Helen Pidd (2 April 2008). "Armour furore leaves Harman wounded". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/apr/02/harrietharman. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  53. ^ "Harman defends wearing stab vest". BBC News online. 1 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7324123.stm. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  54. ^ Daniel Martin (26 June 2008). "Harman vows to force through 'true equality' in the workplace as row rages over plans to discriminate against white men". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1029526/Harman-vows-force-true-equality-workplace-row-rages-plans-discriminate-white-men.html. 
  55. ^ Harman, Harriet (2008) (PDF). Framework for a Fairer Future - The Equalities Bill. London: HMSO. pp. 40. http://www.equalities.gov.uk/publications/FRAMEWORK%20FAIRER%20FUTURE.pdf. 
  56. ^ http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm
  57. ^ http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/798356/harriet-harman-unleashes-positive-discrimination.thtml
  58. ^ http://www.thesamosa.co.uk/index.php/comment-and-analysis/politics/154-hurrah-for-harriet-harman.html
  59. ^ "Harriet Harman in plan to give parties all-black shortlists". London: Times Online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3341874.ece. 
  60. ^ "Hansard Society report on use of all women shortlists". http://hansardsociety.org.uk/blogs/publications/archive/2007/10/01/Women-at-the-Top-2005.aspx. 
  61. ^ McPherson S (2010) General Election 2010: Women, Fascism and Democracy
  62. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 26 June 2008 (pt 0004)". UK parliament. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080626/debtext/80626-0004.htm#08062679000001. 
  63. ^ "Labour 'men-only leadership' over". BBC News. 2009-08-02. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8180195.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  64. ^ "Daily Mail". http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1086164/Speaker-fights-Harman-plan-big-increase-gay-MPs.html. 
  65. ^ http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=42836
  66. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5581549.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=2015164
  67. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/recession/4949315/Office-for-National-Statistics-contradicts-Government-again-with-female-employment-figures.html
  68. ^ http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=2145
  69. ^ http://www.qatar-tribune.com/data/20090309/content.asp?section=Business8_6
  70. ^ http://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/reports---correspondence/correspondence/letter-from-sir-michael-scholar-to-harriet-harman-qc-mp-11-june-2009-and-m-a-note.pdf
  71. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1192472/Harman-caught-exaggerating-pay-gap-sexes.html
  72. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-464091/The-fall-rise-Harriet-Harperson.html
  73. ^ "Father's rooftop protest goes on". BBC News Online. BBC. 9 June 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7443284.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  74. ^ Wilson, Graeme (23 May 2009). "Cameron and Harriet related". The Sun. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2445120/David-Cameron-and-Harriet-Harman-are-related.html. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  75. ^ a b [1]
  76. ^ [2]


  • Sex Discrimination in Schools: How to Fight it by Harriet Harman, 1978, Civil Liberties Trust ISBN 0-901108-73-1
  • Justice Deserted: Subversion of the Jury by Harriet Harman et al., 1979, Civil Liberties Trust ISBN 0-901108-79-0
  • Violence Against Social Workers: The Implications for Practice by Dan Norris, foreword by Harriet Harman, Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN 1-85302-041-9
  • The Family Way: A New Approach to Policy Making by Harriet Harman et al., 1990, Institute for Public Policy Research ISBN 1-872452-15-9
  • The Century Gap: 20th Century Man/21st Century Woman by Harriet Harman, 1993, Vermilion ISBN 0-09-177819-0
  • Winning for Women by Harriet Harman and Deborah Mattinson, 2000, Fabian Society ISBN 0-7163-0596-8
  • Women with Attitude by Susan Vinnicombe, John Bank, foreword by Harriet Harman, 2002, Routledge ISBN 0-415-28742-1

External links

Video clips

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Harry Lamborn
Member of Parliament for Peckham
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Lilley
Secretary of State for Social Security
Succeeded by
Alastair Darling
New creation Minister for Women
Succeeded by
The Baroness Jay of Paddington
Preceded by
Ruth Kelly
as Minister for Women
Minister for Women and Equality
Preceded by
Jack Straw
Leader of the House of Commons
Lord Privy Seal
Legal offices
Preceded by
Ross Cranston
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Mike O'Brien
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Prescott
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Preceded by
Hazel Blears
Labour Party Chair
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded by
The Baroness Hayman
as Lord Speaker of the House of Lords
as Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
The Countess of Ulster

Simple English

Harriet Ruth Harman (born 30 July 1950) is a British politician and is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. She has held cabinet posts in the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Following Brown's resignation as Labour leader on 10 May 2010, Harman was the acting leader of the Labour Party until Ed Miliband was elected on September 25, 2010. Currently, she is Deputy Leader and ex-officio member of the Shadow Cabinet, she is also Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.[1]

She is the Member of Parliament for the Camberwell and Peckham constituency in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. She was first elected for Peckham in a by-election in 1982.


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