Meet our new MP Harry Harpham

Harry Harpham
Harry Harpham

Story: Carrie Hedderwick

Harry Harpham was elected as the new MP for the area on May 7th. After the defeat of the Labour Party in the general election, Harry admitted that Labour had run a “terrible campaign.” They had not managed to convince enough of the electorate that the party’s policies could turn the country around from the effects of the coalition government’s cuts and austerity.

One of Harry’s first comments is, ‘I have been fighting Tories all my life.’

Harry, though, is hopeful with what he considers a strong group of Labour MPs in Sheffield. They include two new MPs – himself representing Brightside and Hillsborough and Louise Haigh who represents Heeley. Harry, born in Mansfield, became interested in politics while working at Clipstone Colliery, where a communist and fellow miner gave him a copy of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, the classic novel advocating a society where work is performed to satisfy the needs of all, rather than to generate profit for a few. Harry became active in the Labour Party and was on strike during the epic 1984-5 miners’ strike. Unlike miners in Yorkshire, the majority of Nottinghamshire miners continued to work. Harry later left the pit and, encouraged by the National Union of Mineworkers, attended a two year course on Trade Union & Industrial Studies at Northern College. He then went on to university to study Politics & Social Sciences.

Night shifts at the WH Smith distribution centre at Sheffield station followed, until he got a job as a researcher for MPs Helen Jackson and David Blunkett. He has also worked as a volunteer adviser at Pitsmoor CAB. Keen to represent Sheffield people, he won a seat as a Councillor for Manor in 2000 and for the last 11 years has represented the Darnall ward. He became deputy leader of the Council under Councillor Julie Dore. And now he is Burngreave’s constituency MP with a determination to be the ‘authentic voice of local people’.

He has spent the last few weeks canvassing around Brightside and also further afield in Colne Valley, Dewsbury, Halifax and Rotherham. He counters the view that ‘all politicians are the same.’ He argues for more working class people at Westminster and policies of scrapping the Bedroom Tax, properly funding the NHS, capping private accommodation rents, reducing tuition fees and freezing energy prices.

Harry agrees that private enterprise in key sectors of the economy is ruinous – jacking up costs, proving to be inefficient, and totally unaccountable. He stated that he supports the campaign to re-nationalise the railways and that a Labour Party win would have begun to steer the country in a more equal and more successful direction. He also thinks Labour made a mistake in not offering the British people a referendum on membership of the EU.

In Parliament he would like to be a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health – he fears the government will privatise the NHS. To find out more, visit or email Details of local surgeries will be coming soon.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Graham Jones on 2015-05-28 12:19:47.
The content of the page was last modified by Gaby Spinks on 2016-10-07 10:10:19.

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