Well done again Bobby Smith
Harriet Harman has been confronted by a man who said her plan to tour the country in a pink bus was “patronising and wrong”.
The deputy leader of the Labour party was challenged during a visit to an Asda in Stevenage, as she kicked off a 70-constituency “women’s tour”.
Senior Labour figures are due to tour the country in a 16-seater pink bus to “reach out to women” ahead of the election. However, the decision to tour the country on a “Barbie Bus” was criticised for being sexist and stereotypical.
Miss Harman dismissed the criticism, saying it was crucial to hear what women wanted from political parties.
“We wanted an eye-catching bus, which would go round the country and we as women politicians in the Labour party, talking to women in this country, listening to their views because 9.1m women didn’t vote in the last election,” said Miss Harman.
The countrywide tour will address key issues like childcare, family care, equal pay and tackling domestic violence.
After the event, Bobby Smith, the man who confronted Miss Harman told Sky News that he would no longer vote Labour because of the pink bus.
“You’re dividing up men and women,” he said. “You’re making it them v. us.”
Mr Smith has held several protests over for equal rights for fathers in divorce and separation proceedings and reform of the family courts.
The Prime Minister’s sister-in-law mocked the van on Twitter, saying it looked like it was “trying to sell me tampons”. Emily Sheffield, Samantha Cameron’s sister, is the deputy editor of Vogue.
There has been, however, some debate over the precise colour of the 16-seater van.
The magenta van (PA)
Gloria De Piero MP, the shadow Minister for women and equalities, said she thought it was “cerise”, while Ms Harman said it was “magenta”.
Pink was chosen so that it stood out from other vehicles in traditional Labour red. White vans were rejected for not being conspicuous enough.