Harriet Harman

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Biographical Information

"Having obtained a degree in Politics from York University, Harriet qualified as a Solicitor and her first job aHarriet 1980ss a solicitor was at Brent Law Centre in 1974... Harriet then became Legal Officer to Liberty (then the National Council for Civil Liberties) where she took the first cases for women under the then new Equal Pay and Sex Discrimination Acts... In 1984, Harriet was appointed by Labour leader Neil Kinnock to Labour’s front bench as Shadow Minister for Social Services. From 1987-1992, Harriet was Labour Spokesperson for Health - deputy to Robin Cook - campaigning against long waiting lists and Tory cuts in health spending...

"She was a member of the leadership team with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown re-shaping the Labour Party and preparing the successful 1997 election campaign... Between 1995 and the 1997 General Election, Harriet served first as Shadow Secretary of State for Health (1995-6), and then as Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security (1996-7)... In 1998 Harriet established the National Childcare Strategy. From the backbenches, sheHarriet and kids campaigned for longer maternity leave and higher maternity pay. Working with the Trade Union KFAT, Harriet carried out research on the problems faced by mothers working in manufacturing in the East Midlands. She chaired the Childcare Commission in 2001 which proposed a £150 payment for new mothers. In 2004 a maternity payment of £102.80 and an increase in maternity leave to 9 months was announced in the Budget. A member of the Transport and General Workers Union, Harriet has worked with the Trade Union movement, in particular on the issue of equality.

"In 2001, Harriet was appointed Solicitor General. She led a drive within Government to make tackling domestic violence a priority. The successful campaign led to a new law - the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act, the introduction of a new team of specialist prosecutors to ensure more effective prosecutions for domestic violence and a new network of 60 specialist domestic violence courts.

"After the 2005 General Election, Harriet was appointed Minister for Justice at the Department for Constitutional Affairs. Her responsibilities include giving the relatives of homicide victims a voice in court, reform of the family justice system, community justice centres and improving the antiquated coroner’s court system. This includes opening up the family courts to make them more accountable, improving the coroners system in particular for the bereaved families of service men and women who have died in Iraq and giving local communities affected by crime a say in sentencing.

"Because of Harriet's commitment to international development and because her constituency has the largest number of people from the African community in the UK, Harriet has been a regular visitor to Africa. She visited Sierra Leone in March 2004, Nigeria in September 2004 and Tanzania in May 2005... In 2007 Harriet was elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and appointed as Chair of the Labour Party . She also served in the Government as Leader of the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Equalities and Minister for Women... Between October 2010 and October 2011 Harriet was Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for International Development. In October 2011 she was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport."[1]

She is married to Jack Dromey.


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. harrietharman About, organizational web page, accessed July 25, 2012.
  2. Damilola Taylor Trust Supporters, organizational web page, accessed April 24, 2013.
  3. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration Members, organizational web page, accessed May 3, 2013.