ROCKERS Biffy Clyro marched with MPs amid a sea of protesters yesterday as the March4Women returned to London.

Musician Annie Lennox, who led the procession last year, was unable to make the event, but in a video message broadcast to the crowds, she said activists were “taking up the baton” for women’s rights 100 years after suffragism. Calling for “transformative change”, she said: “Violence and abuse against women must end.

Lennox continued: “We need to see more women in government, we need to see more women in the boardroom, we need to see around the world a big, big change taking place.”

MPs Hannah Bardell and Danielle Rowley were among those marching from the Houses of Parliament to Trafalgar Square, where Ayrshire band Biffy Clyro performed. Ahead of the event, frontman Simon Neil said they were “standing in solidarity with women”, adding: “Of course women and men should be equal. We are passionate about the fight for gender equality.”

The rally began at Old Palace Yard at noon to coincide with the centenary of the law change which gave the first women the right to vote. Some participants wore sashes in the purple, green and white of the movement, while others carried banners reading “deeds not words” and “bloody difficult woman”, a phrase used by Tory MP Ken Clarke to describe Prime Minister Theresa May.

Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, said: “We are living in a world where there are some dinosaurs that are trying to take us back.

“And there are those that are moving together, trying to say ‘that’s not the way we want this world to look’, and moving us forward, and looking at issues around inequality and naming prejudice and all sorts of forms of entitlement that just shouldn’t be part of the scene of the 21st century.”

Organised by the Care charity, March4Women attracted thousands of people including Sandi Toksvig, co-founder of the Women’s Equality party, and London mayor Sadiq Khan, who pledged to make his area “the best city in the world to be a woman”.

Calling for an end to discrimination, he told the crowds: “Marches have their place, one of the reasons suffragettes and suffragists got the vote 100 years ago is because of marching and demonstrating and rallies, but that by itself is not enough. Employers, me included, have got to take action.”

The event was held hours before the Oscars ceremony and some participants carried placards reading #timesup.

The movement gained pace in light of the Harvey Weinstein-Hollywood sex abuse scandal.