The Battle of the Barbie Bus was just the start of the problems for self-appointed chief feminist Harriet Harman after a fellow Labour Party member took to twitter to say the now deputy leader told her she was “far too pretty to be interested in politics”.
Cllr Karen Danczuk, who is married to the Labour MP for Rochdale, made the comment in a tweet earlier this week, later saying that she actually took the comment as a compliment.
When I first met Harriet Harman she said I was far too pretty to be interested in politics & should be in Girls Aloud. KD
— Cllr Karen Danczuk (@KarenDanczuk) February 11, 2015
“It was at a conference in Manchester. I wanted a photo with her and she said ‘you’re far too pretty to be in politics’. I suppose I’ve proved her wrong – I did go on to be a councillor,” the Telegraph reported Mrs Danczuk later said.
The pretty politician has a considerable following on twitter and is known for taking selfies which include her impressive cleavage.
But Ms Harman denied ever making the comments, saying it was “inconceivable” she would discourage a woman from participating in politics.
“I deny I ever said that and it’s inconceivable I would have ever said that. I have always believed it’s what you do in politics, not what you look like. I have never discouraged a woman from getting involved in politics on the basis of their looks,” she said.
Labour have been facing pressure following the release of their pink battle bus which has been described as “patronising” by voters and rival politicians alike for assuming that because of the colour, women would think Labour was the party for them.
Yet even the colour itself was controversial, with Gloria de Piero saying it was “cerise” and Ms Harman claiming it was actually “magenta” – both well known descriptions for pink in the interior design industry.
The pink Labour bus will travel around the country, visiting 70 constituencies in order to create at “Domesday Book” of women’s demands from the next government ahead of the election. The aim is to show Labour take women’s concerns seriously, including childcare, equal pay and tackling domestic violence. ‘
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg mocked the Barbie Bus as “a tiny bit condescending because it’s bright and pink therefore women relate to it more.”
“It’s a bit like saying that political parties should drive around in macho red sports cars and blokes across the country will suddenly listen to them.”
Ms Harman continued to dig herself deeper into a hole when she told people not to worry because she wouldn’t be driving it, leading some people to believe she felt women were inferior drivers.
The Unite union have donated a male driver to assist the Labour women on the campaign trail.