- Luke Pollard MP spoke at an event honouring Nancy Astor, a Plymouth MP in 1919
- Luke praised Nancy Astor for paving the way for equality in politics
- Luke introduced Dr. Jacqui Turner who has worked with him on his campaign to create a statue of Nancy Astor in Plymouth
Luke Pollard MP has started a campaign to create a Nancy Astor statue in Plymouth. Nancy Astor was elected in 1919 to represent Plymouth Sutton as the first woman in Parliament. At an International Women’s Day event on 12 March, Luke introduced Dr. Jacqui Turner, the leading expert on Nancy Astor history. Turner has worked with Luke on his campaign to honour Nancy Astor’s contribution to Plymouth and to women with a statue.
Luke commented how strong and impressive Nancy Astor was to enter such a male-dominated arena in Westminster. She broke the glass ceiling for women in politics, and Luke believes she represents a source of great pride for Plymouth.
Luke acknowledged that society has progressed significantly since Nancy Astor’s time, but that there is still work to be done. Parliament currently has 209 female MPs. Women make up 45% of Labour and 21% of the Conservative party. Luke believes that Westminster should represent a plurality of views, races, backgrounds, and perspectives because that is the proper way to govern.
So, Luke is campaigning to properly honour this woman who opened doors for so many other women in politics. Luke began a campaign for a Nancy Astor statue about a year ago. Dr. Jacqui Turner spoke at the event to give an academic perspective on Nancy Astor and her political career. Luke also thanked the Plymouth Women in Business for fundraising towards the proposed statue.
Luke concluded his statements at this event by voicing his hope for 50/50 representation in Parliament in the future. Nancy Astor remains an important figure in Plymouth history. Luke will continue his campaign to honour her contribution to politics with a statue in Plymouth.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“A century on from Nancy Astor we’re still not at 50/50 representation in Parliament. We’re not at 50/50 representation in local councils. There’s still much work to be done. As a Parliament and a society, the role of women, the experience of women, and the voice of women is still heard too little in Parliament in Westminster and across all our constituencies. Women’s issues are our issues, women’s history is our history, and we need to speak loudly and proudly about the contribution of Plymouth women and all women to our politics.”