Harman in hot water over Democrat hint

Cabinet minister Harriet Harman appeared to suggest her preference for the Democrats over the Republicans in this year’s US elections.

Ms Harman, speaking on BBC1’s Question Time last night, made clear the UK government must not express any preference in such matters.

But she went on to add that the Labour party is the “sister party” of the Democrats and their “progressive views are the ones we are most aligned with”.

She added: “Obviously the government position is that we don’t get involved, but you asked me the question so I answered it.”

Ms Harman also commented on calls from some Labour MPs for there to be a leadership election at this autumn’s party conference, which begins in Manchester tomorrow.

She said the idea of an “internal leadership election” would be viewed as “completely wrong” by those worried about their job or savings.

“They are making an error of judgment. They’re saying they want a leadership election and I think that would be the wrong thing to happen. Gordon [Brown] should not be distracted and will not be distracted from the big responsibility he’s taken on as prime minister,” Ms Harman added.

“How can you possibility think a leadership election to replace someone who has more experience nationally and internationally than anyone else on the economy – I think that would be quite wrong.”