Page last updated at 23:45 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 00:45 UK

Men held after Harman roof demo

Fathers 4 Justice protest on Harriet Harman's roof
The men scaled the roof before Harriet Harman left home in the morning

Two fathers' rights campaigners have been arrested after holding a 14-hour roof-top protest at Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman's home.

Police said both protesters, dressed as superheroes, had come down voluntarily.

The men had earlier named themselves as Nigel Ace, 40, of Bristol, and Tony Ashby, 42, from Leicester.

It is the second time in just over a month that Fathers 4 Justice members have protested at Ms Harman's home in Herne Hill, south London.

Before their arrest, the men had said they had enough food for a week and vowed to stay until their concerns about equality for fathers were taken seriously by ministers.

After coming down from the roof shortly after 2000 BST on Wednesday, both were arrested on suspicion of harassment and taken into custody, Scotland Yard said.

'Survival trained'

Scotland Yard said police had been called to the home of the minister for women and equality at about 0620 BST.

Ms Harman ignored the protesters when she left home at 0745 BST.

Mr Ace, dressed as Spiderman, who said he was a sales manager, said the protest followed Ms Harman's recent promises over equality in the workforce.

He told the media: "What about dads? We haven't got equality. The government is ignoring us and has a feminist agenda.

"We want Harriet Harman to come back here and engage in a debate with us and if not then Gordon Brown should come.

"I am trained in survival, so I don't care how long we are up here."

'Vile stunts'

Mr Ashby, dressed as Batman, who said he worked as a painter and decorator, said he had not seen his children for seven years.

"We have been up here since 6am and we are in for the long haul," he said.

"We don't want to cause trouble, we just want to get our message across."

The men displayed a banner saying: "Stop the war on dads."

In parliament, Ms Harman condemned the pressure group, agreeing with Labour MP Anne Moffat that their "vile" stunts did their case "absolutely no good".

During the protest last month, she moved out of her house after Jolly Stanesby and Mark Harris, both from south Devon, scaled her roof dressed as superheroes.

They unfurled a banner with the words: "A father is for life, not just conception."

They were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and causing a public nuisance, and were bailed by police until 16 July pending further inquiries.


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