UK Politician Ridiculed for Flak Jacket

Brown No. 2 wears stab-proof vest to tour her own London nabe
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 9:40 AM CDT
Harriet Harman, right, with Gordon Brown. Harman sparked a media uproar after wearing a bulletproof vest while touring a London neighborhood.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Gordon Brown's deputy has sparked a media frenzy after she was photographed wearing a stab-proof vest around her own neighborhood in southeast London. Harriet Harman, the Labour Party's No. 2, has insisted the photograph of her touring the tough neighborhood in a kevlar-reinforced jacket with three police officers was taken out of context, reports the Daily Mail. But the incident is sparking new debates over crime in the capital.

In a damage-control interview this morning Harman dug herself deeper when she explained that wearing the vest was akin to wearing a hard hat when meeting a construction team. That invited the ridicule of the host, who asked her if London's streets were as dangerous as a building site. One neighborhood woman was both angry and envious: "There is a lot of trouble on the estates but we don't get given stab vests."