The Daily Mail purchase allegations have been swirling around Harman for weeks, and until yesterday her only comment was that the story was ‘ridiculous and untrue’. But revelations that a copy of the Daily Mail was in her flat in 1978 forced Harman to be more forthcoming.
“Yes it is true that there was a copy of the Daily Mail in my flat in 1978 but it was already there before I moved in” said Harman on Newsnight. “And none of my flatmates would have actually bought the Daily Mail – I think they shoplifted it and bought it back for bog paper or something”.
Ms Harman told Newsnight that the copy of the Daily Mail remained in her flat until the early 1980s, but that was only because she preferred to wipe her bottom with shoplifted copies of the Sun and so she never got round to throwing the Daily Mail out.
Harman used the interview to say the Daily Mail was already condemned as a vile organisation before she joined the flat, and it was untrue that she had campaigned to make it legal for children as young as 10 to read the Daily Mail.
“These attacks are a politically motivated smear. All I said was that a child looking at the Daily Mail might not necessarily be harmed – they might not be able to read or they might be very simple, for example.”
Harman later issued a statement seemingly backtracking on her earlier comments by saying she ‘regrets’ her link to the Daily Mail in her flat.
She was however at pains to say that she still had a soft spot for the Paedophile Information Exchange group as they were avid readers of the Guardian.