A man angry at Labour’s pink “Woman to Woman” bus has heckled Harriet Harman by calling the campaign “patronising and wrong”.
The deputy Labour leader was sitting in the Stevenage branch of Asda talking about the campaign, which aims to attract female voters, when the man interrupted this afternoon.
The altercation was caught by journalists at the scene, including Sky’s Sophy Ridge, who quoted the man as saying: “You're dividing up men and women...you're making it them versus us.
“Are you thinking of getting blue van?”
Threatening to stop voting Labour over the issue, he reportedly said the bus, which has already been ridiculed on the internet, was “patronising and wrong” and told the MP she should be talking to men.
A protester who appeared to be the same man later posed outside the Asda wearing a T-shirt reading "this is what a victim of feminism looks like".
Labour’s attempt to woo women voters with the lurid pink campaign bus ahead of the general election already appeared to have backfired, with Twitter users blasting it as “Barbie-like” and more suited to a “hen night”.
This man has come to protest Harriet Harman's "anti equality" campaign pic.twitter.com/66C9OxS3Qv— Emily Ashton (@elashton) February 11, 2015
The eye-watering vehicle will visit 70 key constituencies touting the party’s first “women's manifesto” in a bid to win back the support of the 9.1 million women who failed to vote in the last general election.
Ms Harman rejected suggestions that the colour was “patronising” and said it had been picked by a “a collective”.
“Is it not magenta or something?” she said. “We wanted to mark that this was something different. We wanted it to look conspicuous and therefore a white van was not going to do the job.”
Election Analysis: The Key Voters
Election Analysis: The Key Voters
1/6 Settled Silvers
These are the comfortably-off over-60s, still in work or drawing a decent pension – or both – who are enjoying their entitlements such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, free bus passes and free TV licence. They are worried about immigration and Europe. Both the Conservatives – who are pledging to keep benefits for wealthier pensioners – and Ukip want their votes
2/6 Squeezed Semis
Slightly older than the Harassed Hipsters, they are the second key group for Labour’s family-focused election strategy. They are married couples on low to middle incomes who own unpretentious semi-detached homes in suburban areas. In 2001, these were the Pebbledash People sought by the Conservatives. Now the pebbledash is gone and a modest conservatory has been built at the back
3/6 Aldi Woman
In 1997 and 2001 she was Worcester Woman – a middle-class Middle Englander shopping at Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. Today, the age of austerity means she still goes to Waitrose for her basic food shop but cannily switches to Aldi for her luxury bargains such as Parma ham and prosecco. Identified by Caroline Flint, she is a key target of both Labour and the Conservatives
4/6 Glass Ceiling Woman
In her thirties or forties, she has an established career under her belt, perhaps in the “marzipan layer” – one position below the still male-dominated senior executive level. She is now, according to Nick Clegg, forced into making the “heart-breaking choice” between staying at home to bring up her children and going to work and forking out for high-cost, round-the-clock childcare
5/6 Harassed Hipsters
One of the two key groups identified by Labour as crucial to hand Ed Miliband the keys to Downing Street. Well-paid professional couples, often with children, they live in diverse urban and metropolitan areas rather than the suburbs. More comfortably off than most swing voters, they are time poor – struggling to balance raising a young family with busy work schedules
These are mainly first-time voters, though some are in their twenties – students and digital-age generation renters helping to fuel the “Green Surge”. Idealists, but with no tribal loyalty to any party, they are anti-austerity, middle class, living in urban areas. Despite studying at university or recently graduated, they are struggling to find decent jobs and want cheaper housing and a higher minimum wage
Analysis by the party of the candidates chosen to fight marginal seats shows that women would make up 43 per cent of Labour’s MPs if it wins a majority in May – close to its 50 per cent target.Reuse content