Harriet Harman on husband Jack Dromey’s huge sacrifice: ‘Really astonished’

Jack Dromey's death will come as a shock to MPs says host

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Mr Dromey, a Labour Party shadow minister, died today, his family announced this afternoon. The Birmingham Erdington MP, who was elected to the seat in 2010, passed away at his flat in the constituency this morning. The politician leaves behind Ms Harman, who he married in 1982, his daughter and two sons. The couple’s long relationship was forged amid the trade union movement of the late Seventies and early Eighties.

Ms Harman once revealed that her husband had made an enormous sacrifice to help her own career.

The Labour stalwart discussed their shared dynamic in a rare interview with The Guardian back in 2017.

The veteran politician, who has 40 years experience in Parliament, shared how Mr Dromey had “committed himself to the cause” and had helped her during her successful campaign to become deputy Labour leader in 2007.

Her late husband would drive her to meetings and even pledged to re-mortgage their house in a bid to stump up £40,000 for her campaign, she revealed in the interview.

She said: “I was absolutely astonished by that. Really astonished. Because it’s a big, big sum of money.

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“And Jack comes from a very poor background with no money at all. But he’s always been so committed.”

Touching on her husband’s work ethic, she also recalled how he would encourage her to attend meetings even when she was “exhausted” from work.

She added: “We’ve got a shared belief system but in a way, that’s why we got together.

“We didn’t come from the same backgrounds at all. We had shared goals.”

However, the couple’s time spent picketing and fighting the politics of Margaret Thatcher did eat into their downtime, Ms Harman said.

She was asked if she and her late husband had fallen for one another during a protest.

She replied: “Something like that. Or a courtroom.

“I’m not sure anyone went on dates in our world because we literally were full-on with the cause. It was our lives.

“We didn’t do chilling around and relaxing and being cheerful with Margaret Thatcher as prime minister. No. There was a job to be done.”

The Labour politician was also asked about their personal life at home and whether they shared the housework.

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Ms Harman said: “You’ve got to remember that this is still a work in progress about men having an equal share in the home.”

Mr Dromey was the former deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, which eventually became Unite.

He was also a Labour Party treasurer and was the shadow minister for immigration until his death.

In a statement following his death, his family said: “Jack Dromey MP died suddenly this morning aged 73 in his flat in Erdington.

“He was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather, and he will be greatly missed.”

His son Joe Dromey, a former London councillor, also paid tribute, saying: “Rest in peace big man.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the late shadow minister “dedicated his life to standing up for working people”.

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