Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 10:15 UK

Father's rooftop protest goes on

Fathers 4 Justice protest
Fathers 4 Justice said they were resuming "direct action"

A fathers' rights campaigner is maintaining his rooftop protest at the London home of Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman.

Jolly Stainesby, of south Devon, spent the night under a tarpaulin, observed by the occupants of three police cars.

Mr Stainesby began the protest at the minister's house in Herne Hill, south London, on Sunday with Mark Harris - who later came down and was arrested.

Ms Harman has decided to leave her home until the protest ended.

Mr Stainesby said the rooftop protest could go on for some time.

Speaking earlier, he said: "I'm not coming down until they free my mate Mark. He is still being held."

Mr Harris was held on suspicion of criminal damage, causing a public nuisance and other offences.

The campaigners, who are dressed as mythical superheroes "Captain Conception" and "Cash Gordon", had said they intended to remain at the property until the former minister of justice read Mr Harris's book, Family Court Hell.

They also unfurled a banner reading: "A father is for life, not just conception".

'Direct action'

Ms Harman, who is also Secretary of State for Equalities and Minister for Women, said the men had not requested a meeting.

Fathers 4 Justice founder Matt O'Connor said the government had "refused all dialogue with F4J for the past two years" and the group would now resume "a full-scale campaign of direct action against the government, its ministers and the judiciary".

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the government had carried out a public consultation on improving the openness of family courts.

He added: "This is an important and complex area of policy about which people have strong views. We must ensure we get it right."


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