Labour’s Harman to stand down as MP

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on December 12th 2021, 12:12am

Long-serving Labour MP Harriet Harman has revealed that she will step down at the next general election.

Harman follows in the footsteps of fellow Labour MP, Dame Margaret Hodge, who announced last week that she intended to quit at the end of the current Parliament.

Harman informed local party members in Camberwell and Peckham of her decision this week, after having served as the constituency MP for just shy of 40 years.

Harman said in her announcement that she was “confident” the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer was strengthening Labour and that she would “work energetically” for the party and her constituents until her departure.

Now 71, Harman was first elected to the Commons in 1982. Since then, she has spoken in the Commons 9,850 times, contested ten general elections, and served under seven different prime ministers and eight Labour leaders.

Harman has also held several key positions within the Labour Party, including interim leader following the resignations of Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, under both of whom she served as deputy leader.

In her announcement, Harman said that she would “leave the House of Commons with my feminism, my belief in Labour and my enthusiasm for politics undimmed.”

Indeed, Harman is renown for her feminist campaigning throughout her career and has been hailed “the original glass ceiling smasher” and a “guiding light for women” in politics by her peers.

Labour MP Liz Kendall added that Harman had “inspired so many of us in politics” and “blazed a trail for women and equality.”

Upon her election as an MP, Harman was one of just 11 female Labour MPs in a male-dominated House of Commons, with that number having risen to 104 since the early 1980s. Harman herself has also been dubbed 'Mother of the House', since she is currently the longest continuously serving female MP in the Commons.

However, she stressed in her announcement that there was much more left to do to ensure that women “genuinely share political power with men on equal terms.”

Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons

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Authored By

Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
December 12th 2021, 12:12am

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