Deputy leader of Labor Party: Daily Mail smearing her

Feb. 25, 2014 at 1:22 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the British Labor Party, said Monday the Daily Mail's stories about her alleged ties to a pedophile group are a "smear."

The Mail's stories involve the National Council for Civil Liberties, a group Harman worked for in the 1970s, the Daily Mirror reported. Her husband, Jack Dromey, a Labor member of Parliament, and former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt also worked for the council.

The council at the time had an "affiliate," the Pedophile Information Exchange, which advocated reducing the age of sexual consent to 10, the Mail said. The Mail did not suggest Harman actually shared the exchange's views.

"They have accused me of being an apologist for child sex abuse, of supporting a vile pedophile organization, of having a relaxed attitude to pedophilia and of watering down child pornography laws. These are horrific allegations and I strongly deny them all of them," Harman said 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."

Dromey said the exchange had made an attempt to "infiltrate" the council and that he led the charge against them.

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