"Fathers for justice claim today's protest was a dramatic way of getting their message across"
Two men have been charged with using
threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour following a "flour
bomb" attack in the House of Commons. Patrick Ronald Davis, 48, of
Worthing, Sussex, and farmer Guy Richard Harrison, 36, of Ashurst, Steyning,
Sussex, will appear in court next week.
WMV both are Father 4 Justice members protesting for better
rights in the family courts for access to their children.
Two members of the Fathers 4 Justice group,
who were guests of Labour peer Baroness Golding, were arrested after one man
hurled three missiles at Mr Blair while another held a poster bearing
photographs of their children.
The House of
Commons has been suspended during Prime Minister's question time after what
appeared to be purple powder was thrown at Tony Blair.
Mr Blair was speaking during his weekly half-hour appearance in the Commons
when a projectile filled with purple powder hit him on his back. Commons Speaker Michael Martin interrupted the
proceedings, saying: "This House is now suspended."
Fathers 4 Justice claimed responsibility for
the incident. The incident comes just weeks after a £600,000 temporary
security screen was installed in the Commons. It appears the projectile may
have been thrown from an area of the gallery reserved for MPs' guests and
Fathers 4 Justice
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and
Chancellor Gordon Brown, who were sitting either side of Mr Blair, both
looked up at the public gallery as the dust descended at 12.18 BST. MPs were seen wafting something away from
themselves as the House was suspended. Labour MP Kevin Brennan said a stain
was "clearly visible on the back of Mr Blair's jacket as the dust hit him. Tory ex-minister Michael Portillo said he
thought "one dose" of the dust had been thrown "before the prime minister
reacted The prime minister only appeared to look round to his side at the
second dose," he said.
I thought it was likely to stain his coat or
something, but as far as I could see, it was actually falling behind him.
Commons leader Peter Hain said: This was a serious incident. I have asked
for an immediate report on the circumstances and what additional security
provisions may be necessary. Prime Minister's questions is not expected to
be reconvened, and it is not yet clear whether the remaining Commons
business will take place.
Michael Martin said a member of the House of Lords had signed in the visitor who disrupted
He expected a full explanation from the peer by the end of the day and
suspended the right of Lords to sign in Commons visitors with immediate
Matt O'Connor, spokesman for Fathers 4 Justice, said two members of the
group were involved in the incident to highlight MPs' failure to help
fathers gain access to children through the courts.
Pictures of the
Strike on Tony Blair 19 May, 2004
is the man who stopped Parliament when he threw purple
powder at the Prime Minister. He is a millionaire
businessman with no previous history of militancy or
direct action. However he claims his experiences with the
family law courts drove him to protest.
Guy Harrison threw the purple powder at Tony Blair
finished because your wife decides to end it.
Your children are
taken away from you.
Your house is
taken from you.
You spend thirty
thousands pounds on unscrupulous solicitors.
Then from the
public purse one hundred thousand pounds in legal aid money is given to
your partner to continue her unjust actions in a Family Court.
Then you move into
a tiny dirty bed-sit because its all you could afford after paying the CSA
for children you couldn’t even see or sent presents or letters to.
You are accused of
domestic violence in which with no evidence you are criminalised in a
Where every penny
and possession you ever worked for in your life is taken away from you.
Then you are made
so ill and depressed you are prescribed anti-depressant tablets for years
in order to cope with your situation.
You write and
speak to numerous politicians who will ignore you and fog you off down the
same road to despair.
Then suddenly if
throwing some purple self-raising flour at a politician might just
help in securing change and possible future contact to your children then
what else can you do? L Bevan
Matt O'Connor said Ron Davis and Guy Harrison, said
by police to be aged 50 and 36, had still not seen a
solicitor since being detained yesterday lunchtime.
Speaking outside London's high security Paddington Green
Police Station, where the two men are in custody, Mr
O'Connor said there was no justification for their
continued detention and claimed they were only being held
for political reasons.
The guys have been here since 12.20pm yesterday and they
have not seen a legal representative," he said. "We have
had a legal representative here since 4pm yesterday
afternoon. We have had no contact with them at all.
The Government, the authorities and
the police, given the profile of the demonstration, are taking this very
seriously and are treating the protesters as terrorists for throwing condoms
filled with purple-coloured self-raising flour. There is no reason why these
guys should be treated in such a way. They should be released. If they (the
authorities) want to make an issue of this, we are happy to oblige. A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said
two men remain in custody this morning in connection with yesterday's
Mr Davis, of Worthing, West Sussex,
and Mr Harrison, of Steyning, West Sussex, were arrested yesterday on
suspicion of criminal damage. Mr O'Connor indicated that a solicitor
instructed by the group would be arriving at around 9am in the hope of
seeing the two men this morning. He said he understood from police that they
had already been questioned but said he did not know how they were or what
they had said.