Video: Cakes all round as Harriet Harman visits Crawley

The deputy leader of the Labour Party has brought her bright pink Women to Women battle bus to Crawley.

Harriet Harman visited Tilgate Bakery, on Tilgate Parade, this morning (April 30) where she met owner Jane Kirkham, who took over the shop when it was threatened with closure and has seen her business bloom.

Harriet Harman visits Tilgate Bakery SUS-150430-122110001

Harriet Harman visits Tilgate Bakery SUS-150430-122110001

After starting with four staff, Jane now employs 12.

Harriet said: “It’s great to celebrate a success story of an ordinary entrepreneur who, having worked for the bakery when it folded she took the bold step of getting a loan.

“But we want to make sure that that carries on in the future and therefore people need to have a little bit more money in their pockets.”

Harriet concluded her visit at Kim’s Kitchen, at the Plough, Three Bridges.

Harriet Harman visits Tilgate Bakery SUS-150430-122058001

Harriet Harman visits Tilgate Bakery SUS-150430-122058001

When asked what Labour would do to help small businesses such as the bakery and the kitchen, Harriet said: “One is make sure people have more money in their pockets to spend locally and secondly is to cut their business rates which will help them with their overheads.

“And of course, absolutely not put up VAT which, again, takes money out of people’s pockets.”

As for the Women to Women campaign, Harriet denied the bright pink bus was a somewhat demeaning stereotype and said it was “conspicuous” and caught people’s attention.

She added: “The suffragettes helped get women a right to vote but we’ve got to give them a reason to vote.

Harriet Harman visits Tilgate Bakery SUS-150430-122018001

Harriet Harman visits Tilgate Bakery SUS-150430-122018001

“At the last general election nine million women didn’t vote.

They felt their vote wouldn’t count and actually we’re highlighting that this is a watershed election for women.

“Whether it’s David Cameron or Ed Miliband at number 10 will make a real difference to women’s lives so it’s really important that they have their vote and they make their voice heard.

Harriet praised Crawley’s Labour candidate, Chris Oxlade, as “a community champion who could really get things done”.

She added: “I think it’s going to be all eyes on Crawley on May 7 without a doubt.”