Former Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman has claimed in her new book that she was offered a better degree score by a Politics lecturer, in exchange for sleeping with him.
The Labour politician graduated from the University of York in 1972 with a 2:1, aged 21. She was told by Professor TV Sathyamurthy that she was a “borderline candidate” and at risk of attaining a 2:2.
Harman, who was appointed Minister for Women by Tony Blair in 1997, said that she “did not” accept the married professor’s advances, and wrote in her latest book, A Woman’s Work, that she was “repulsed by him”.
The memoir, cited as “the story of women’s progressive politics over the past 30 years”, is set to be released next week.
Professor Sathyamurthy died in 1998, following a 30-year career as a distinguished academic. An obituary stated that academia was like “oxygen” to the professor, and noted his “countless anecdotes, tales of feuds, mishaps, indiscretions and entanglements (he candidly confessed to more than his fair share).”
Quoted in the York Press, the University’s registrar and secretary David Duncan provided the following statement:
“The allegations made by Ms Harman are extremely concerning.
“The University of York strongly condemns all forms of sexual harassment and will not tolerate it among staff or students.
“Behaviour of the sort described by Ms Harman would constitute gross misconduct and would lead to dismissal.
“We have an extensive support system in place for students and staff who are concerned about harassment of any kind.
“We are also in the process of developing new guidance following publication of the recent UUK report on violence against women, harassment and race hate.”