Harriet Harman says next Labour leader ‘has got to be a woman’

The veteran MP said it was embarrassing the party has never had a woman at its helm.

22 June 2022

Harriet Harman has said Labour’s next leader should be a woman, adding it was “downright embarrassing” the party has never had a woman at its helm.

The veteran Labour MP also spoke about the grief of losing her husband Jack Dromey “out of the blue” when he died in January.

Ms Harman, the Mother of the House and MP for Camberwell and Peckham, who plans to stand down as an MP after the next general election, told GB News: “As and when we do in the far-distant future have a leadership election, it has got to be a woman the next time round because it’s just downright embarrassing that the Conservatives have had two and we haven’t even had a woman leader in opposition, let alone a woman prime minister.

Harriet Harman and family
Harriet Harman and Jack Dromey married in 1982 (PA Archive)

“I think it’s partly because women in the Labour Party are more subversive than the women in the Conservative Party.

“The women in the Conservative Party tend to work with men without challenging them in quite the way we do.”

Asked about how she was coping after her husband’s death, Ms Harman said: “I’m not entirely sure what the answer to that question is because it’s just six months since he died, and he died absolutely suddenly, out of the blue.

“I feel that widowhood is something that happens to most women who’ve married or have got a partner, widowhood does happen to them.

“But there’s a real mystery to me in terms of … how do you kind of go forward in your life?”

Father-of-three and Labour MP Mr Dromey died suddenly from heart failure in his flat in his Birmingham Erdington constituency six months ago.

The couple married in 1982.

Ms Harman said: “I’ve got children, I’ve got grandchildren, I’ve got my constituents, so in a way I’ve got no option but what they describe as ‘crack on’.

“I’m like cracking on … I know that that’s what Jack would be wanting me to be doing”.

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