Labour Party’s pink bus comes to Brent

The Pink Bus 'Woman to Woman" campaign stopped in Brent with Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the La

The Pink Bus 'Woman to Woman" campaign stopped in Brent with Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the Labour Party talking to women at the Asian Women Resource Centre - Credit: Archant

The Labour Party’s controversial pink bus arrived in Brent to celebrate International Women’s Day this weekend.

Harriet Harman MP, deputy leader of the Labour Party, and Rachel Reeves MP, shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, brought their women’s campaign to the Asian Women Resource Centre in Craven Park on Saturday..

They were joined by Dawn Butler, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Brent Central, to discuss their party’s commitments to women including helping them balance work with caring commitments, promoting flexible working, tackling domestic violence and increasing pay transparency.

As part of the Woman to Woman campaign, the MPs are travelling around the country with the pink bus, speaking to women voters at school gates, in workplaces, shopping centres, universities, in town centres and on the doorstep up until the General Election.

Critics claim it is patronising to use a pink bus in a bid to attract female voters.

1,160,000 women in London did not vote in the last General Election in 2010 according to House of Commons statistics.

Eight out of 12 of Labour’s candidates in its key battleground seats in London are women including Ms Butler and Tulip Siddiq, who is standing for the part in Hampstead and Kilburn, while in the Conservative Party, eight out of 12 candidates in these seats are men.

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If they win the seats in May, they will have gender parity in the London Parliamentary Labour Party for the first time with as many female MPs as male MPs.

Ms Harman said: “With ‘Woman to Woman’ we are discussing with women what they want from government. The campaign brings politics to the school gate and the shopping centre as well as colleges, offices and factories.”

Ms Butler added: “When I speak to young women in Brent too often they feel left behind and under-represented in politics.

“It is so important that we encourage young women in Brent to have their voices heard and be part of the decisions that shape their future.

“All political parties have to work to ensure we have a parliament that genuinely reflects our diverse society, I’m proud Labour is making progress.”