Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard, is today launching an appeal for a statue to mark the 100-year anniversary of the election of the first female MP to take her seat in the House of Commons - Plymouth’s Nancy Astor.
Nancy Astor – MP for Plymouth Sutton from 1919 to 1944, Lady Mayoress of Plymouth from 1939 to 1944 was the first woman ever to take a seat in the House of Commons.
Launching the campaign today, Luke Pollard MP said:
“Plymouth has a proud and rich political history and we need to celebrate our succceses as a city. that’s why I think it is time to remember properly the public service of Nancy Astor who was not only the first woman to take her seat but was a Plymouth MP. As a city we are sometimes slow to celebrate our history and that needs to change. The 100th anniversary of Nancy Astor’s election gives us the chance to remember her contribution to our city and the nation and how she opened the door to more women standing for election.”
I was elected on a platform to put Plymouth first, ahead the interests of my party and that’s what I am doing here. In 1919 Plymouth Sutton elected Nancy Astor as a Conservative MP. In 2017, Plymouth Sutton and Devonport elected me as a Labour and Co-operative MP. Plymouth should come ahead of party and that’s why I’m launching this memorial appeal today.”
Before I was elected I work with local people and the City Council to erect a memorial to Michael Foot in Freedom Fields Park. I think with the 100th anniversary of Nancy Astor’s election two years away the time is right to remember this huge milestone and how Plymouth was at the forefront.
Nancy Astor and I would disagree on a lot politically and I’m not a big fan of some of the things she stood for but her election opened the door to women taking their seats in Parliament. She wasn’t just Plymouth Sutton’s MP she was the Member of Parliament for Women and its right that this is celebrated. I am determined to work cross-party, in her memory and her name to garner support to get more women to stand and be elected in Parliament.”
William Waldorf Astor III, 4th Viscount Astor and grandson of Nancy Astor, said:
“The Astor family are delighted with the proposal to establish a memorial to Nancy Astor, the first women to sit in Parliament representing Plymouth, and will give the campaign our full support.”