No pink bus – Fathers’ rights activists try to find Harriet Harman at Epsom racecourse


There was no pink bus but a number of red faces when fathers’ rights activists tried to confront Labour’s deputy leader on International Women’s Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Sunday.

But Harriet Harman was not present as local Labour members paid tribute to suffragette Emily Davison who died under the king’s horse at the Derby in 1913.

Epsom Councillor Sheila Carlson, who organised the event, said she had invited Harriet Harman and her pink bus to visit Epsom at some point, but she was not expected on Sunday.

Coun Carlson said she did not see any fathers’ rights activists at the event, adding: “I think they have got their wires a little bit crossed.

Coun Carlson, who is standing for Parliament in the forthcoming elections, attached a red rose to the memorial and held a minute’s silence together with other Labour supporters.

She said: “We had a debate about women’s rights and women voting.

“We felt it was a fitting place to celebrate International Women’s Day because obviously she’s very important to us in Epsom but also important to women generally.

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“Without her and the sort of sacrifices she and fellow suffragettes made, we couldn’t vote.”

Dads’ rights activist Martin Matthews, who climbed on Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s house last year, said: “We went for a walk, but she wasn’t there.

“We spoke to some lovely people who I assume were from the Labour Party. There was nothing to be done. We had a friendly chat after they paid their respects to Emily Davison.”

He said Labour supporters had confirmed Ms Harman was invited and he wanted the politician to clarify her position on what the age of consent should be.

Ms Harman has expressed regret that a civil liberties group she once worked for had links to pro-paedophile campaigner, the Paedophile Information Exchange.

A statement issued by New Fathers’ for Justice on Sunday said: “We went to the racecourse because Harriet Harman had been invited with her pink bus but she failed to turn up.

“We decided the best thing that we could do was leave the event quietly and respectfully.”