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Murphy led Scottish Labour with 'energy and dignity'

Acting Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, paid tribute to Jim Murphy after he stood down as leader of the Scottish Labour party, saying he "has been a hugely important figure."

Jim has given so much to the Labour Party over the last twenty years. He, I know reluctantly, took the responsibility for leading Scottish Labour at the most difficult election they have ever faced. He did so with incredible energy, purpose and dignity.

As a cabinet minister and leader of his party in Scotland, Jim has been a hugely important figure in the Labour Party. He leaves with the best wishes and thanks of our movement.

It will now be for the Scottish Labour Party to choose its next leader.

– Harriet Harman


Harriet Harman stepping down as Labour deputy leader

Harriet Harman is stepping down as Labour's deputy leader, she has announced.

She paid tribute to Ed Miliband "for his leadership" and "for his decency, his commitment and his constant striving for a fairer country".

In a speech, she said: "On the resignation of Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour Party I, as his deputy, am stepping forward to be acting leader until a new leader is elected by the party."

She added: "With a new leadership team in place, after what has undoubtedly been a serious defeat, the Labour Party will be best placed to be the strong opposition this country needs - defending our NHS and our public services, and fighting for fairness, equality and social justice.

"That determination will be all the fiercer in the face of this Tory government."

Harriet Harman is to follow Ed Miliband in resigning from her position within Labour's leadership after the party's hugely disappointing election result. Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Harman questions whether Tories could form government

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman has questioned whether the Conservatives could form a majority government with any other party.

Harman urged people to treat an exit poll, predicting the Tories would be the largest party, with caution, saying there were many seats which were going to be "very close".

She told ITV News: "If the exit poll is right...what it shows is the coalition led by David Cameron has more or less lost its majority.

"We'll have to see whether the new House of Commons that's been newly elected will give David Cameron a majority."

"I think it's far too early to say."

Harman: Labour is the party to back childcare

Labour's women's manifesto is "showing women that we are on their side and will stand up for them in government", Harriet Harman said today.

Launching the document at Stockwell Gardens Nursery in south London, the deputy party leader said the document entitled A Better Future For Women, was intended to show politicians were "there for women as well as men".

As far as Labour's concerned you're not on the margins tou're absolutely central. We know that actually the bedroom tax hits more women then me. We know that one of the things that drags down women's pay is that more women are on zero hours contracts.

People will remember that it was Labour that set up those Sure Start centres, that brought in the child care tax credit...They know that the government that is going to back childcare is Labour - never the Tories not the Lib Dems.

– Harriet Harman

Ms Harman was joined by Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and shadow minister for women and equalities Gloria De Piero as they arrived in the party's woman-to-woman pink bus.


Labour: No one believes Lib Dems after tuition fees broken promises

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman says no one would believe the Liberal Democrat's manifesto promises because they broke their pledge to protect university tuition fees.

People know that the Lib Dems are every bit as much to blame as the Tories. They have backed the Tories every step of the way while people's living standards have fallen and the NHS has been going backwards.

People know that the Lib Dems' manifesto can't be trusted. They broke the key promises in their last manifesto and are repeating them once again. People will remember the Lib Dems' record on trebling tuition fees, wasting £3 billion on the NHS and increasing VAT, and know their promises for the future can't be trusted. This country needs change - not the same Lib Dem broken promises.

– Harriet Harman

Harman denies making 'too pretty for politics' comment

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman has denied telling one of the party's female councillors she was "too pretty" for politics.

Harriet Harman denies telling Karen Danczuk she is 'too pretty' for politics. Credit: Karen Danczuk's Twitter page

Karen Danczuk, who has previously hit the headlines for her regular posting of selfies, claimed on Twitter that the Labour equalities spokeswoman suggested she would be more suited to being in all-girl pop group 'Girls Aloud'.

But Ms Harman released a statement saying: "I deny I ever said that and it's inconceivable I would have ever said that.

"I have always believed it's what you do in politics, not what you look like. I have never discouraged a woman from getting involved in politics on the basis of their looks."

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