MPs blast pink bus critics

Harriet Harman launches Labour's Woman to Woman election campaign bus
Harriet Harman launches Labour's Woman to Woman election campaign bus

MPs have strongly backed a Labour Party campaign to drive a pink minibus around the country to engage women with politics.

The Woman to Woman vehicle will visit more than 70 constituencies in the run-up to May’s general election encouraging some of the 9.1m women who failed to cast a vote in 2010 to make their voice heard at the ballot box.

However, Labour deputy leader was forced to defend the magenta bus at its launch, firmly denying the idea was patronising to women.

Her stance has been robustly backed by local Labour female MPs who say the criticism of the bus is a desperate attempts by opponents to deflect attention from their own lack of focus on issues which matter to women.

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said: “Women in Wigan have been hit hard by this government. Rising childcare costs and a growing pay gap have left many families struggling to make ends meet.

“In the next few months Labour will be out across the country talking to women about our plans to extend free childcare for working families and legislate to ensure women are paid the same as their male colleagues. This is a desperate attempt by the Tories to shift the focus away from their pathetic record.”

Makerfield parliamentary representative Yvonne Fovargue said: “Woman to Woman is about getting out and talking to women about the issues that matter to them so if a bright coloured van can draw attention to this conversation with women across Wigan then that is important because Labour is campaigning hard to convince the nine million women that did not vote at the last general election, that the outcome of the poll in May will determine their future for improving living standards, on making sure our children have a decent education and on safeguarding and reforming our NHS so it has time to care.”

Bolton West MP Julie Hilling, who lives in Atherton and whose constituency includes parts of the town, said: ““I am proud the Labour Party has decided to do a campaign to focus on women’s issues.

“Claims by the Tories regarding the pink bus are absolute nonsense and a desperate attempt to attack the Labour Party when women have been failed by David Cameron’s Government.”