Harriet Ruth Harman (born 30 July 1950) is a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham since 1987. Since 24 June 2007, she has been both the Deputy Leader and Party Chair of the Labour Party. On 28 June 2007 she was also appointed Lord Privy Seal, Leader of the House of Commons and Minister for Women and Equality.
She was born in London to the Harley Street physician John Bishop Harman FRCP and his wife Anna (née Spicer), a solicitor. Her parents both came from non conformist backgrounds — her grandfather Nathaniel Bishop Harman was a prominent Unitarian and the Spicer family were well known congregationalists.
She was educated at the independent St Paul's Girls' School and the University of York, where she gained a BA in Politics. Between 1978 and 1982, she was legal officer for the National Council for Civil Liberties and as such was found in contempt of court by Sir Hugh Park in the important civil liberties case Home Office v. Harman 1 A.C. 280, 308 (the conviction for contempt being upheld on appeal), before becoming MP for Peckham in a by-election in 1982.