Harriet Harman’s women-only Barbie battle bus has already been derided as ‘sexist’, a ‘gimmick’ and ‘patronising’ to female voters.
But now the hapless van is the source of fresh controversy as it emerges that it is in breach of vehicle licensing regulations.
According to records held by the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA), the four-ton, 16-seater Ford Transit van is white, not pink — nor, indeed, ‘cerise’ or ‘magenta’, as Labour MPs Gloria De Piero and Harman have variously claimed.
A change in the colour of a vehicle should be registered with the DVLA and failure to do so is a serious offence.
‘Any failure to inform the DVLA about changing the colour of the vehicle can be punishable with a £1,000 fine,’ confirms a DVLA spokesman.
The embarrassing oversight is enough to turn Harman’s face magenta, as she has admitted she was the one who signed off on the colour choice. No wonder the Labour Party is quick to pass the buck.
‘The bus has been hired on a commercial basis,’ insists a spokesman. ‘The colour change has been reported to the owner.’
It’s not the first time that Harman, the driving force behind the nationwide Woman To Woman tour, has been guilty of road offences.
In 2010, she was fined £350 for driving without due care and attention, after a court heard that she had reversed into a parked car while using her mobile phone.
Harriet Harman defends bright pink labour campaign bus
Illegal: The DVLA has said a change in the colour of a vehicle should be registered with the DVLA and failure to do so is a serious offence
A second charge relating to her phone use was withdrawn.
After the incident she had nine points on her licence, having already amassed six points following two speeding offences.
Deputy Labour leader Harman is hoping to reach out to the nine million women who did not vote in the last election.
However, they may not be so impressed she can’t even master the basics of the Highway Code.
If she carries on like this, it could be a case of: ‘Taxi for Harman!’
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