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  •  A Statue of Nancy Astor Takes Pride of Place on the Hoe
  •  Lady Astor served the constituents of Plymouth Sutton for 26 years
  •  Luke: “Nancy Astor broke the glass ceiling.”

On 1 December 1919, Nancy Astor became the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons. The occasion was commemorated by the unveiling of a statue of Lady Astor on the Hoe, where she lived and served her constituents of Plymouth Sutton.

Lady Astor was a pioneer; she supported welfare reforms, equal voting rights, and access to the professions for women. She stood as a Unionist candidate (now the Conservative Party) and was known as a champion for other female MPs, no matter their party affiliation. Astor served as a Member of Parliament for 26 years (1919-1945) and won seven consecutive elections.

Luke Pollard, running for re-election as the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:

“Nancy Astor broke the glass ceiling and that’s why my team and I started the statue appeal in 2017. We handed it over to Plymouth Women in Business in 2018, and they’ve done a truly superb job in fundraising and raising this magnificent statue. I’ve been proud to stand behind some brilliant Labour women who led the campaign. My hope back in 2017 was that this statue would tell more of Plymouth’s story and be a beacon to our city’s girls and young women to make a difference to their city.

 

Nancy Astor and I would disagree on a lot, and some of her views would not be acceptable in modern Britain, but that goes for most of Britain’s historical greats. This should not take away from the need for us to tell this vital chapter in our city’s history and British history. As a city, we have such a rich heritage, but we are not always great at telling it, and that’s why this statue will make such a difference.”

There was cross-party support for a statue commemorating Nancy Astor and joining Luke at the ceremony were former Plymouth MPs: Alison Raynsford, Linda Gilroy, Baroness Janet Fookes, and Lord David Owen.

Plymouth MPs: Alison Raynsford, Linda Gilroy, Luke Pollard, Baroness Janet Fookes, and Lord David Owen.
Plymouth MPs: Alison Raynsford, Linda Gilroy, Luke Pollard, Baroness Janet Fookes, and Lord David Owen.
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