Rooftop protest at Harman’s house continues

A Fathers 4 Justice protester staging a demonstration on the roof of Harriet Harman’s home is still refusing to climb down this morning.

The Labour party deputy leader was forced to leave her home yesterday when two protesters set up camp on the roof of her house to demand that divorced fathers be given better access to their children.

Jolly Stanesby and Mark Harris climbed onto the roof of minister’s house in Herne Hill on Sunday to stage their protest before Mr Harris climbed down and was arrested by police.

Mr Stanesby, however, has remained on the roof and spent last night under a tarpaulin.

He told reporters: “I’m not coming down until they free my mate Mark. He is still being held.”

Police are holding Mr Harris on suspicion of criminal damages, causing a public nuisance and a number of other offences.

The Fathers 4 Justice protest group has staged several high profile stunts in the past including pelting former prime minister Tony Blair with condoms full of purple flour in the House of Commons debating chamber in 2006.

Yesterday Ms Harman told reporters: “I don’t think it is fair to the police resources to be tied up outside my house because of this demonstration when they could be doing other important policing work.

“I also think it is unfair on the neighbours, so we are moving out,” she said, adding that although the protesters said they wanted to meet her they had made no attempt to do so.

Fathers 4 Justice says the justice system is prejudiced against divorced fathers, denying them basic visitation rights to see their children.

Mr Stanesby and Mr Harris, clad as comic superheroes, yesterday hung a banner on Ms Harman’s house reading “A father is for life not just conception” down the side of the house and gave media interviews on mobile phones as they sat on the roof.

Fathers 4 Justice founder Matt O’Connor, who was not in the rooftop protest, said the pair had simply walked into Ms Harman’s garden while she was at home and used a ladder to climb onto the house.