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Labour veteran Harriet Harman ‘hopes’ to be made peer after more than 40 years in the Commons | Politics News

Labour veteran Harriet Harman has told Sky News she wants to be made a peer, after spending more than 40 years in the House of Commons.

Ms Harman announced she would be standing down at the current election.

Speaking to the Electoral Dysfunction podcast with Beth Rigby and Ruth Davidson, they were joking about Ms Harman going into the upper chamber.

“I hope so,” she replied.

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Pic: House of Commons. Harriet Harman MP speaks in the House of Commons, London, during a debate about the House of Commons Committee of Privileges report into whether former prime minister Boris Johnson misled Parliament over partygate. Picture date: Monday June 19, 2023.
Ms Harman has ended her career as an MP. Pic: House of Commons

Ms Davidson – who is herself in the Lords – said that Ms Harman would be “such an addition” to the upper chamber.

But Ms Harman said it’s important “not to count our chickens before they hatch”.

She would not be drawn on what title she would take – pointing out there was already a Lord of Peckham (where her parliamentary seat was).

And it was also akin to “measuring up the curtains for Downing Street when they haven’t won the election”.

“I’ve got to be, like, coyly, modestly waiting for that moment if it comes – the dissolution honours, as it’s called,” she said.

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Ms Harman was first elected in the 1982 Peckham by-election.

During the New Labour years, she held roles including social security secretary, solicitor general, justice minister and minister for women and equality.

Between 2007 and 2015 she was the deputy leader of the party – standing in twice as acting leader during contests to find a new permanent candidate.

She was briefly leader of the Labour Party in 2015 after Ed Miliband stood down and before Jeremy Corbyn was selected as his full-time replacement.

Pic: PA. File photo dated 07/05/97 of the first meeting of the Cabinet Sub-Committee EA (WW) (Welfare to Work), at the Cabinet office in London, (left to right) Paymaster General, Geoffrey Robinson, Minister of State Home Office, Alun Michael, Minister for Environment, Michael Meacher, Minister of State DSS, Frank Field, Scottish Secretary, Donald Dewar, Northern Ireland Secretary, Marjorie Mowlam, Minister without Portfolio, Peter Mandelson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Welsh Office
Ms Harman (in green) was in the New Labour cabinet. Pic: PA

Harman: ‘May like a sister’

While speaking with Beth and Ms Davidson, Ms Harman revealed how former prime minister Theresa May – who is also standing down from the Commons now an election has been called – has “turned into quite a sister”.

Ms Harman said: “She didn’t use to be at all.”

Ms Harman added that when she was pushing for all women shortlists in the Labour Party, Mrs May would be “sent out by the Tory party” to oppose it.

Read more about the general election:
The MPs standing down
What happens after an election is called?
Find your new constituency and how it’s changed
How boundary changes make Starmer’s job harder

Theresa May gestures, as she watches girls play football, during a visit to St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Maidenhead.
Pic: PA
Theresa May in her Maidenhead constituency in March. Pic: PA

Ms Harman added that the future prime minister would “say that what I was saying was terrible social engineering, and actually it should all be on merit”.

“She was always on the other side of the argument,” she said.

“But actually, you know, to give her credit, she really changed.

“And the work that she did on domestic violence and human trafficking has been really important.

“I’d say she’s an expert by experience of male oppression and she’s not pulling her punches now.”

Email Beth, Ruth, and Harriet at [email protected], post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.

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