Harriet Harman: Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham to stand down at next election

The long-standing south London MP has spent more than 40 years in Parliament.

<p>Harriet Harman is standing down as MP for Camberwell and Peckham at the next election. Picture: Getty</p>

Harriet Harman is standing down as MP for Camberwell and Peckham at the next election. Picture: Getty

Labour MP Harriet Harman has announced that she will not be standing again at the next general election.

She shared the news on Tuesday in an email to her local party in Camberwell and Peckham, where she has served for nearly 40 years.

She wrote that she would not be seeking re-election as she feels she can leave the House of Commons now “confident that Labour is gaining strength under the leadership of Keir Starmer and the new team he has appointed”.

The 71-year-old was first elected MP in 1982, and has served as deputy leader of the Labour Party.

She also stood in as party leader for two brief stints, after Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband stepped down.

A young Harriet Harman with Labour leader Neil Kinnock, UK, 1992 (picture: Getty Images)

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Ms Harman is the longest serving female MP in the House of Commons and was given the title the mother of the house by then prime minister Theresa May in 2017.

In her email, she wrote: “I entered the Commons as one of only 11 Labour women MPs in a parliament that was 97% men.

“Now there are 104 Labour women and across all parties women MPs are a ‘critical mass’.

“But there remains much more to be done till women genuinely share political power with men on equal terms and until women in this country are equal.

“I will leave the House of Commons with my feminism, my belief in Labour and my enthusiasm for politics undimmed.”

Former Labour aide Ayesha Hazarika is still traumatised by the aftermath of a speech by ex-party leader Ed Miliband (Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

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Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “All my life Harriet has been in Parliament and as a woman that life would have been very different if she hadn’t.

“Harriet Harman is my hero.

“I owe her a debt so big it cannot be repaid.”

Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy said: “Harriet Harman’s contribution to the political life of our country is truly exemplary.

“A valiant campaigner on Human Rights, she has a peerless record on improving the lives of women and girls both here and abroad.

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“A dear friend and mentor, I will miss her counsel very much.”

Labour MP Emily Thornberry said: “When I was 22, I watched a young pregnant Harriet Harman fight and win the Peckham by-election with style, strength and great politics.

“I was inspired. So proud to be a colleague and a friend.

“Thank-you for all your support. I will miss you so much Harriet.”