Results 1–20 of 6451 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Harriet Harman

Gender Pay Gap (18 Apr 2018)

Harriet Harman: (Urgent Question): To ask the Minister for Women to make a statement about Government action to close the gender pay gap.

Gender Pay Gap (18 Apr 2018)

Harriet Harman: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for granting this urgent question, and I thank the Minister for her obvious commitment to this issue. It was Labour legislation that enacted gender pay transparency, but it was her Government who implemented it. It is important that they did that, because it has laid bare what women have always known but previously did not have proof of, which is that there is...

Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy (8 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: I join other hon. Members in commending the work of the Leader of the House and thank her for the way she has gone about it. Her approach has been very serious and committed but also inclusive, involving—right at the heart of the process and on an equal footing—the shadow Leader of the House and the shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, my hon. Friend the Member for...

Women’S Suffrage Centenary (6 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: Thank you, Mr Speaker. May I commend the right hon. Lady for her assertion that although as women, inside and outside the House, we have made tremendous progress, we still have so much further to go? May I also say that I fully support the Government’s move to ask the Law Commission to consider the case for making it an offence to threaten and abuse parliamentary candidates? This is...

Health and Social Care: Hospitals in Special Measures (6 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: The Secretary of State will be aware of the importance of King’s College Hospital to my constituents. In 2009 it was rated “excellent” and one of the top hospitals in the country; now it is missing its A&E waiting time targets and a key cancer treatment target, there has been a fourfold increase in the number of cancelled operations, and it is in special measures. The...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: I warmly welcome you back to the Chair, Mr Deputy Speaker; it is great to see you here with us. This has been a really important debate and I thank all Government and Opposition Members who have contributed. People have spoken in deeply personal terms about profoundly constitutional issues. They have shown passion for their families and for their constituents. Nobody has spoken against the...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: I beg to move, That this House believes that it would be to the benefit of the functioning of parliamentary democracy that honourable Members who have had a baby or adopted a child should for a period of time be entitled, but not required, to discharge their responsibilities to vote in this House by proxy. May I join others, Madam Deputy Speaker, in wishing you a happy birthday? You honestly...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. No one in this House wants us to give ourselves better conditions than people outside, but we are now actually lagging a long way behind and are in danger of setting a bad example in that respect.

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: I give way to my hon. Friend and constituency neighbour.

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: Absolutely; my hon. Friend is spot on. “Erskine May”, our parliamentary rules bible, says absolutely nothing about pregnancy, which is no surprise at all. It used to be the case that the overwhelming majority of Members were men. It was not that those men were not parents; it was just that they regarded a baby as the sole responsibility of their wives. There were hardly any women...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: Speaking of pregnant bumps, I give way to my hon. Friend.

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: I certainly do agree and I congratulate my hon. Friend. I am looking forward to meeting the new arrival. The reason we are proposing this change now is that the House has changed profoundly in its attitudes and its membership. Now, many men want and expect to play their part with a new baby.

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: It really does. It was unacceptable then and it is even more unacceptable now.

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: Absolutely. Having talked to colleagues in all parts of the House, I know that fathers feel as strongly as mothers about this issue. That is a real change. It is really gratifying to me to see younger men who are determined to be not only excellent Members of this House but sharing parents and responsible fathers who do not see their baby just as their wife’s business. Most wives now...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: That might well be the case in future, but for the moment we are talking about maternity, paternity and adoption, and we should focus on that. I never thought I would see the day when the sons of the women’s movement arrived in this House—but they are here. They want and expect that they should play their part with a new baby. All credit to them, and let us change the rules to...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: I thank the hon. Lady, who has been unstinting in her support. We have worked together on this. She is absolutely right. That is why I called it baby leave rather than maternity and paternity leave, and why I refer to parents and their children. As I say, there have been 17 babies born to women—and countless born to male Members of Parliament but which we do not know about. In the...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: That is a really important point. I hope that we can think of some arrangements that can be made to deal with the issue of SNP Members until such time as we zoom this process through. Granting or withholding a pair is an important role for the Opposition Whips Office. No one can accuse me of not knowing the importance of fighting in opposition, because, tragically, that is what I have been...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: My hon. Friend makes a very good point. “The Good Parliament” report also reports on all the other Parliaments around the world that have sought, in their own way, to deal with this. This is not just a matter of the wishes of parents. It is also about the rights of our constituents, because when an MP is paired, Hansard simply records that they have not voted—that the vote...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Why should a constituency lose the right for a vote to be cast in its name because its MP is having a baby? You cannot be voting when you are in a birthing pool, Madam Deputy Speaker, but your constituency has a right to have its voice heard.

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Harriet Harman: My hon. Friend makes a very important point. We need to do this for defensive reasons, because women who are off having babies or men who are off with a newborn baby are criticised, and that is wrong. But it is even more important than that—our constituents should have the right to have their voice heard, and we want to protect that right even though their MP is off at certain times...


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