Harriet Harman has said Labour’s next leader should be a woman, adding that it was “downright embarrassing” that the party had 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.
Harman, the MP for Camberwell and Peckham, who plans to stand down 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.
“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, 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. 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 Dromey died suddenly from heart failure in his flat in his Birmingham Erdington constituency six months ago. The couple married in 1982.
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 to do what they describe as ‘crack on’. I’m, like, cracking on … I know that that’s what Jack would want me to be doing.”