Current Affairs

Fathers rights protesters hijack Harriet’s home

Tony Grew June 9, 2008
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Two men dressed as superheroes occupied the roof of the home of the Secretary of State for Equality yesterday.

The Fathers 4 Justice campaigners displayed a banner reading “a father is for life, not just for conception.”

Mark Harris and Jolly Stanesby scaled Ms Harman’s south London property, forcing her to leave several hours into their protest.

The pair claimed Ms Harman, who is also Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the House of Commons, had refused to meet with them.

Her office denied their claims.

Mr Harris and Mr Stanesby said they wanted to draw attention to the fact that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which passed the Commons last month, has removed the requirement on doctors to consider the need for a father when assessing women for fertility treatment.

Fathers 4 Justice also claim that the courts discriminate against fathers.

Mr Harris ended his protest yesterday and was arrested by police. He faces charges of criminal damage and causing a public nuisance but Mr Stanesby remains on the roof. He reportedly has enough supplies to stay up there for a week.

At Business Questions in the Commons last Thursday, Ms Harman said that revealing the home addresses of MPs could put them in danger.

Tory Dr Julian asked for a debate on the question of the “judges’ dangerous decision” that MPs’ home addresses should all be published and pointed out that the number of signatories to early-day motion on the subject had risen from 77 to 159.

“Our addresses should not be published so that we are able to speak freely on democratic issues of importance in this House without looking over our shoulders,” said Ms Harman.

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