Harriet harman

The Harriet Harman Edition

30 min listen

The most recent ‘mother of the house’, Harriet Harman has been an MP for 42 years. She has served in a number of cabinet positions, under six Labour leaders, both during government and opposition. She was also deputy leader of the Labour Party for 8 years. In some ways, her story is emblematic of how women’s roles in society have changed: challenging familial stereotypes, dealing with sexual harassment, and as a trailblazing politician. On this episode, Katy Balls talks to Harriet about the influence of her family, why she got into politics, and why Labour hasn’t had a female leader yet. Produced by Patrick Gibbons.

A speech which showed parliament at its best

It’s been an angry, tense few days around parliament. The Sue Gray report saw Boris Johnson accused of lying, and starting another fight about Keir Starmer and Jimmy Savile that led to more allegations of dishonesty and bad faith. Anyone glancing at news from the Commons might get confirmation that MPs are a worthless sack of rats who spend all their time scratching and biting at each other. Which is why it’s important to draw attention to the other side of the Commons, which tends to get less attention: the human, collegiate side that was on display when MPs said goodbye to Jack Dromey who was the member for Birmingham Erdington

Labour MP Jack Dromey dies, aged 73

Jack Dromey, who has died today aged 73, was a Labour MP, a trade unionist and a campaigner. He was extremely well-liked across the House of Commons: something that those who didn’t know him will have noticed immediately in the shocked tributes that have been pouring in from Westminster figures. He was a good MP, one with a clear set of political beliefs but who never let them stop him from working with those he disagreed with. He formed firm friendships with many MPs on the other side of the house, which is not something every member manages. It is a testament to the way he operated that it is