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Harman's regret over NCCL's paedophile group affiliation

Harriet Harman has expressed "regret" over the links between a 1970s paedophile rights campaign and the civil rights organisation for which she once worked.

In a fresh statement this morning, a spokeswoman for Ms Harman said:

She regrets the existence of PIE and she regrets their involvement with NCCL before she joined, although it was immaterial to her work.

She stands by the statement from yesterday and she is certainly not going to apologise to the Daily Mail.

– Harriet Harman spokeswoman

Miliband: Harman always on right side of these issues

Ed Miliband has dismissed the Daily Mail's allegations against Harriet Harman. Credit: PA

Labour leader Ed Miliband heaped praise on Harriet Harman yesterday, insisting he did not "set any store" by the claims made by the Daily Mail.

"I know she has a long and proud record of being on the right side of all of these issues," he said.

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Daily Mail chief reiterates demand for Harman apology

The consultant editor of the Daily Mail newspaper has reiterated his demand for an apology from Labour's Harriet Harman over The National Council for Civil Liberties' "affiliation" to the now-defunct Paedophile Information Exchange in the 1970s.

Appearing on Daybreak, Andrew Pierce said: "How difficult can it have been to oust a disgusting organisation like that?"

In a Newsnight interview last night, Harriet Harman denied supporting or being influenced by PIE: "It is not the case that my work, when I was at NCCL, was influenced by PIE, was apologising for paedophilia or colluding with paedophilia," she said.

Harman: My work has always been to protect children

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has insisted her work has always been to protect children from child abuse, as she accused the Daily Mail of running a "politically-motivated smear campaign" against her.

The newspaper published claims that the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), a group Harman used to work for, had alleged historic links to a paedophile rights campaign.

Harriet Harman criticised the Daily Mail for a 'politically-motivated smear campaign'. Credit: BBC

In her first interview since the Mail published the allegations, Ms Harman told BBC2's Newsnight: "It is not the case that my work, when I was at NCCL, was influenced by PIE [Paedophile Information Exchange], was apologising for paedophilia or colluding with paedophilia.

"That is an unfair inference and a smear.

"My work has always been, when I was at NCCL and when I have been in politics and ministerial office, to protect children, especially from child abuse."

Read: Daily Mail accuses Harman of failing to 'answer the allegations'

Mail: Harman 'fails to answer charges'

The Daily Mail says Harriet Harman failed to answer the newspaper's central points. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman was accused of issuing a denial "full of pedantry and obfuscation" by the newspaper that made allegations about her historic involvement in paedophile rights campaigns.

The Daily Mail claimed the shadow culture secretary has failed to answer the main charges it has levelled against her in a series of articles and has instead denied allegations it has not made.

It follows Ms Harman's decision to release a detailed statement accusing the newspaper of a "politically-motivated smear campaign".

A Daily Mail spokesman said: "The belated statements today of Ms Harman and her husband - full of pedantry and obfuscation - failed to answer the Mail's central points and deny allegations the Mail has not made.

"More pertinently they have failed to utter a word of contrition or sorrow about The National Council for Civil Liberties' closeness to the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange, anorganisation that validated the activities of a monster like Jimmy Savile.

"Nor do they utter a word of apology to the victims of PIE."

Harman: Mail 'smear' shows 'hatred of my values'

The Daily Mail have attempted to smear Harriet Harman "by way of guilt of association", the Labour Deputy leader has claimed in a statement.

The editor and proprietor of the Daily Mail are entitled to their political views and they are of course entitled to oppose what I stand for but they are not entitled to use their newspaper to smear me with innuendo because they disagree with me politically and hate my values.

– Harriet Harman, Labour Deputy Leader

Given the seriousness and the aggression with which the Daily Mail are pursuing me, I feel that I need to put the facts in the public domain.

– Harriet Harman, Labour Deputy Leader

Commenting on an allegation that she supported the lowering of the age of consent to 10, she said:"This is not true.

"I supported the equalisation of the age of consent (as set out in the National Council for Civil Liberties document "priorities and strategy for the executive committee June 1981") by making the age of consent the same for homosexual as well as for heterosexual sex."

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Harman denies 'horrific' paedophile rights claims

Harriet Harman Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman has denied claims from the Daily Mail that she supported lowering the age of consent to 10, scrapping the law on incest, or sought to water down the law on child pornography.

"They have accused me of being an apologist for child sex abuse, of supporting a vile paedophile organisation, of having a relaxed attitude to paedophilia and of watering down child pornography laws. These are horrific allegations and I strongly deny them all of them," she said in a statement.

Mrs Harman and her MP husband Jack Dromey broke their silence after the newspaper ran a series of stories about their actions while officials at the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) in the 1970s.

The body granted 'affiliate' status to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), and is said to have lobbied for loosening of laws. Former health secretary Patricia Hewitt, who was also involved in the NCCL, has also faced accusations, but not commented.

Harman condemns 'paedophile rights smear campaign'

Labour Party deputy leader Harriet Harman has condemned a "politically-motivated smear campaign" amid questions about her alleged historic links to paedophile rights campaigns.

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman at her Party's annual conference in Brighton in September last year.
Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman at her Party's annual conference in Brighton in September last year. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Harriet Harman: It's like raining men in the Tory party

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman has accused the Conservative party of having a "problem with women" after claiming there was a pattern of replacing senior women in public positions with men.

"My concern is that we're having a sort of cull of senior, authoritative women and they're all being replaced by men," she told BBC 1's Andrew Marr Show.

Michael Gove replied: "We don't have a problem with women in Tory party, we made one Prime Minister".

Although he admitted there was a broader problem of attracting women into public life.

More: It’s Raining Men storms charts after councillor's remarks

Harman: Clegg's response to Rennard 'a cop out'

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has called Nick Clegg's response to the allegations against Lord Rennard "a cop out" and claimed the women who made the complaints are "being hung out to dry".

Ms Harman said: "The Lib Dem women who complained about Lord Rennard did a brave thing in coming forward and making an official complaint. But now they are being hung out to dry and accused of suffering from 'distress'.

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

"They have complained about inappropriate behaviour but Clegg says unless proved beyond reasonable doubt - ie that Rennard committed a criminal offence - the Lib Dems can take no action. This is a cop out.

"Nick Clegg must get off the fence otherwise it will send out a signal to any woman who suffers sexual harassment that she needn't bother to complain."

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