I'm not posh like Sam Cam… says earl's niece Harriet Harman, who went to a 20,000-a-year school and is the daughter of a Harley St doctor
23:09 GMT, 20 July 2012
As the niece of an earl, daughter of a Harley Street physician, and a former pupil of a 20,000-a-year school, Harriet Harman concedes she's 'on the posh side'.
But she isn't, she insists, 'Sam Cam posh'. Labour's Deputy Leader made the comments during a magazine interview.
She conceded that her blood ties and her comfortable upbringing made her privileged – but went out of her way to distance herself from the nobility.
Harriet Harman said she's a bit on the 'posh side' in an interview for Total Politics magazine
In an apparent swipe at the Prime Minister's wife Samantha Cameron, Miss Harman said: 'I'm definitely on the posh side of things.
'But I am not landed gentry if you want to get into the detailed socio-economics. Not “Sam Cam” posh.'
Yet as a descendant of the 7th Earl of Longford, who led a controversial campaign to free Moors murderer Myra Hindley, Miss Harman is certainly of upper-class pedigree.
A pupil of the exclusive St Paul's Girls' School in London, she went on to become a solicitor after graduating from York University, before sending her own children to a selective grammar school and a faith school.
She recently admitted that she had dropped her 1950s' cut-glass accent to fit in more with her party's working-class roots.
Her own heritage could not be further away from that of the underdog, however.
Very posh: Samantha Cameron with her husband, the Prime Minister David Cameron
Miss Harman said Theresa May (pictured) had 'dogged my path' and followed her around TV studios
Her father's sister, Elizabeth Harman, who married Lord Longford, was also a great-niece of Tory radical Joseph Chamberlain and first cousin once-removed of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
In the same interview, with Total Politics magazine, Miss Harman expressed disbelief that Home Secretary Theresa May identified herself as a feminist, insisting that women could not be both feminists and Conservatives.
In the photo shoot accompanying the magazine interview, Miss Harman, in celebration of her 30 years' continuous service as an MP, is pictured holding a cake.
Miss Harman appeared in this month's edition of TotalPolitics magazine
The shadow culture, media and sport secretary – who has been nick-named 'Harperson' because of her political correctness – joined Parliament in 1982, at a time when just 3 per cent of MPs were women.
But, in a departure from the sisterhood she alluded to when she described feminism as 'a creed of women's solidarity', Miss Harman said of Mrs May: 'It's amazing for her to now say she is a feminist.
'You can't be a feminist and a Conservative because (feminism) is all about equality and fairness.'
She added: 'It's not about the Tories, who are the “devil take the hindmost” and “stand on your own two feet”.'
She went on: 'Ultimately, delivering for women in this country – in equality, childcare, helping with the elderly, maternity pay and leave – is Labour's mission, not the Tories'.'
She said Mrs May, who is also in charge of the Government's equality agenda, had 'dogged my path', following her around TV studios and 'criticising what we were arguing for'.
'On all the big issues, she has been on the wrong side. I suppose we should all believe in redemption, but, my goodness me, she would never lead an argument for equality.'
Mrs May's spokesman declined to comment.
The former Cabinet minister also became the latest senior Labour MP to confess to taking drugs – sort of. In a Bill Clinton-style 'I didn't inhale' admission, she said: 'In the mists of time, I kind of remember a joint being passed around.'
But she added: 'I was never part of the druggie culture. Not that many people were when I was at uni. Alcohol, rather than drugs.'