Labour MP Harriet Harman to continue Speaker bid despite 'disquiet'

Harriet Harman has been an MP since 1982

Friday, September 20, 2019

Senior Labour MP Harriet Harman has vowed to continue her bid to replace John Bercow as Commons Speaker, despite local party members calling on her to stand down.

Her Camberwell and Peckham constituency party voted on Thursday to express its “disquiet” over her campaign for Speaker.

The vote was initially tied at 21 on each side, however a recount passed by 26 to 22.

The motion criticised the MP for announcing her candidacy without consulting local party figures.

Members also hinted she could face a Labour candidate at the next election should she become Speaker, in contravention of the long-standing tradition of major parties staying away from the Speaker’s seat.

But in a series of tweets, Ms Harman said she will “always be there” for her constituents and “will not back down”.

Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party secretary Dave Lewis said members were concerned about losing their voice in Parliament should Ms Harman become Speaker.

“As a party we lose a political voice in the House of Commons and as an electorate people of Camberwell and Peckham lose a voice in the House of Commons. That's the feeling,” he said.

However he doubted the national Labour Party would stand a candidate against the former deputy Labour leader.

Ms Harman is one of at least eight MPs who will vie to become Speaker at a vote on November 4.

The motion to censure Ms Harman for her Speaker campaign was brought by Nick Wrack, who was once blocked from joining the Labour Party for standing as a Trade Unionists and Socialists Party candidate in 2015.

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