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Harriet Ruth Harman, PC QC MP is a British lawyer and Labour Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament since 1982, first for Peckham, and then for its successor constituency of Camberwell and Peckham since 1997. She has served in various Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet positions and, in her role as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, she was twice the Acting Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition: from May to September 2010 and from May to September 2015.

The Right Honourable

QC MP
Harriet Harman, 2014.jpg
Leader of the Opposition
In office
8 May 2015 – 12 September 2015
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Ed Miliband
Succeeded by Jeremy Corbyn
In office
11 May 2010 – 25 September 2010
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Cameron
Succeeded by Ed Miliband
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Labour Party Chair
In office
24 June 2007 – 12 September 2015
Leader Gordon Brown
Ed Miliband
Preceded by John Prescott
Hazel Blears
Succeeded by

Tom Watson

Member of Parliament
for Camberwell and Peckham
Assumed office
28 October 1982
Preceded by Harry Lamborn
Majority 25,824 (50.1%)
Personal details
Born Harriet Ruth Harman
(1950-07-30) 30 July 1950 (age 66)
London, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Jack Dromey
Children 2 sons
1 daughter
Alma mater University of York
Religion Christianity
Website Official website

Harriet Ruth Harman, PC QC MP (born 30 July 1950) is a British lawyer and Labour Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1982, first for Peckham, and then for its successor constituency of Camberwell and Peckham since 1997. She has served in various Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet positions and, in her role as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, she was twice the Acting Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition: from May to September 2010 and from May to September 2015.

Born in London to physician John B. Harman and his wife Anna, a solicitor, Harriet Harman attended St Paul's Girls' School and obtained a BA in Politics from Goodricke College, University of York. She qualified as a solicitor and worked for Brent Law Centre from 1978 to 1982, when she was elected MP for Peckham in a by-election following the death of Labour MP Harry Lamborn. Promoted to the Shadow Cabinet by Labour Leader John Smith, she served as his Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1992–1994) and then as Shadow Employment Secretary (1994–1995), Shadow Health Secretary (1995–1996) and Shadow Social Security Secretary (1996–1997) under Smith's successor Tony Blair.

Under Blair, Labour won the 1997 general election, he became Prime Minister and Harman was re-elected for the new constituency of Camberwell and Peckham. Blair appointed her Secretary of State for Social Security and the first ever Minister for Women, serving until 1998, when she left the Cabinet. In 2001, she returned to the Cabinet as Solicitor General for England and Wales, serving until 2005 when she became Minister of State for Constitutional Affairs. In 2007, Blair resigned as Prime Minister and John Prescott resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Labour Leader. Harman ran in the subsequent deputy leadership election and defeated five other candidates, ultimately beating Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson by 50.43% to 49.56%. Gordon Brown, who was elected Leader, appointed Harman Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal, Minister for Women and Equality and Labour Party Chair. However, unlike Prescott, she was not appointed Deputy Prime Minister.

She held all of these government positions until Labour lost the 2010 general election. After the defeat, Brown resigned as Leader and Harman became Acting Leader and Leader of the Opposition until Ed Miliband was elected leader. She subsequently served as his Shadow Deputy Prime Minister, combining the position with that of Shadow Secretary of State for International Development (2010–2011) and then Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2011–2015). After Labour's defeat in the 2015 general election, Miliband resigned as Leader and Harman once again became Acting Leader and Leader of the Opposition. She announced that she would also resign as Deputy Leader, prompting a concurrent deputy leadership election, which was won by Tom Watson.

Harman holds the record as the longest-ever continuously-serving female MP in the House of Commons. She is married to former trade union leader Jack Dromey, who became Treasurer of the Labour Party in 2004 and MP for Birmingham Erdington in 2010. They have two sons and a daughter.