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Fathers' rights activists scale Buckingham Palace in protest

Two men have climbed the walls of London's Buckingham Palace in an apparent protest over fathers' rights British police reported. Queen Elizabeth II is not believed to have been at home at the time.

London's Metropolitan Police force said on Sunday that officers were called to the palace following reports of a protest at an art gallery in the grounds of the royal residence.

The UK's Press Association news agency reported that the two men, Martin Matthews and Bobby Smith, were calling for more rights for fathers in divorce and separation cases.

Police said "two males were found to have climbed on to the roof of the entrance." Images posted online showed the men holding a banner which read: "I am Harry's dad. Stop the war on dads."

Officers were still at the scene several hours later, and police said they were still speaking to the men.

'Copycat' incident

British Fathers' rights activists complain that the UK's legal system is biased against them in disputes with their former partners over their children.

Protest group Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) said it was not behind Sunday's stunt, which it blamed on a copycat group.

F4J has previously pulled several similar stunts including entering British courts dressed as Father Christmas and putting handcuffs on the British minister for children. In September 2004, group member Jason Hatch scaled the walls of Buckingham Palace dressed as Batman.

ksb/jm (AFP, AP)

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