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Harman hits out again at Daily Mail coverage

Harriet Harman is a guest on tonight's The Agenda with Tom Bradby. Credit: ITV / The Agenda

Harriet Harman has again attacked the Daily Mail's coverage of the affiliation between a group she worked with in the 1970s and their links to a paedophile rights group.

Speaking on The Agenda with Tom Bradby on ITV this evening, she said: "The idea that the Daily Mail suddenly comes up with this idea that I'm an apologist for child abuse. I mean, how on earth could I apologise for that?

"It's not true. I went from being a man-hater one minute, according to the Daily Mail, to colluding with dirty old men."

Also on the panel this evening are advertising boss Sir Martin Sorrell, presenter Julia Bradbury and comedian David Schneider.

The Agenda airs at 10.35pm on ITV

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Ex-PIE chair 'confident Harman was aware of situation'

Former Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) chairman Tom O'Carroll told ITV News he is "confident" Harriet Harman was aware the group was represented on a gay rights sub-committee in the late 1970s.

O'Carroll told UK Editor Lucy Manning he did not think Harman had any involvement with PIE "directly or indirectly", adding, "except through her knowledge of the fact that the organisation had a presence within the NCCL" sub-committee.

He said: "She presumably knew that we were affiliated with the NCCL and must have known, I think, that a representative of PIE - for a long time that was myself while she was there - was on the gay rights sub-committee.

"She must of known that, I am confident, because she had regular discussions with her staff, including the person who presided over the gay rights sub-committee, and that person would have talked to her about the proceedings of the committee from time-to-time I'm sure".

Dromey slams 'smear by convicted paedophile'

Harriet Harman's husband and Birmingham MP Jack Dromey said in a statement:

It is no surprise that a convicted paedophile, the like of whom I took action against during my time in the NCCL, should choose to smear me.

The record is clear. I took on PIE and, when I was elected chairman, defeated by a massive majority at the 1976 NCCL annual conference a loathsome motion calling on the NCCL to support the so-called rights of paedophiles.

Indeed my stand was denounced in a leaflet distributed by PIE to the delegates to the conference.

Quite simply, no one will believe a man like Tom O'Carroll.

– Jack Dromey

Harman 'didn't want to rock the boat' over PIE

Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt failed to take action to oust the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) because they "didn't want to rock the boat", its former chairman has claimed.

Tom O'Carroll said Labour's deputy leader and the former health secretary did not support PIE but "didn't even try" to cut its affiliation to the civil liberties organisation they worked at for the sake of their careers.

O'Carroll sat on an NCCL gay rights sub-committee in the late 1970s and said there had been no active attempt to remove him.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Really they didn't do much to oppose PIE's presence in my view because there were these other liberal forces, or radical forces, within NCCL.

"The support didn't come from Harman and Co but it was there. The Gay Liberation Front was very radical and at that time Harman and Patricia Hewitt couldn't just kick out PIE.

"Well, they could both try but they didn't even try and the reason they didn't try is they didn't want to rock the boat because their careers within NCCL depended on them not rocking the boat too much."

Ms Harman has said she has nothing to apologise for over the involvement of the National Council for Civil Liberties with the paedophile rights campaign but expressed "regret" that there had ever been a link between the two.

Harman's reaction to Daily Mail is pure emotion

The National Council for Civil Liberties was a very mainstream organisation at that time, the pre-cursor to Liberty, if you like.

Most people here actually think the idea that this horrible paedophile organisation was allowed to affiliate and that the NCCL had totally open affiliate policy is bonkers.

Harriet Harman Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Quite lot of people in the Labour Party think it might have been better for Harriet Harman to just say "yes, that was crazy," to accept the deal and apologise and move on.

But as you see in my interview, she is clearly very upset about it.

She is upset because her point is: "I've spent my whole life campaigning for children, for women, for the dispossessed and here I am being accused of helping the very people I was fighting against all the time."

When it was question of Ed Miliband against The Daily Mail with the attack on Ed Miliband's father, there was emotion too, but there was an element of political calculation.

Ed Miliband wanted to be seen taking on the big newspaper organisations.

With this, I've got to say, it's pure emotion.

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Harman: I have fought for 30 years against these people

"I have been in public life for 30 years and all of those years have been about protecting the vulnerable, protecting women and children," Harriet Harman insisted today.

"That's why I find it so unfair and offensive that the Daily Mail should put smear and innuendo on me as if somehow I supported those people that all my public life I've been fighting against.

"I think they are wrong to be doing that and that's why I'm speaking out."

Harman: I've got nothing to apologise for

"I'm not going to apologise because I've got nothing to apologise for," Harriet Harman said today.

"I very much regret that this vile organisation, PIE, ever existed, and that is ever had anything to do with NCCL but it did not affect my work at NCCL - they had been pushed to the margins before I actually went to NCCL."

She went on: "To allege that I was involved in collusion with paedophilia or aplogising for paedophilia is quite wrong and is a smear."

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