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An Update on Emmeline

Dec. 7, 2018

The proposal to move the statue of the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst  from near the Houses of Parliament to the private Regent’s University London in Regent’s Park has been withdrawn after widespread anger.The Emmeline Pankhurst Trust, a non-profit group led by the former Conservative MP Sir Neil Thorne, submitted a proposal in July to “carefully dismantle” the existing statue and move it elsewhere. 

The proposal was immediately protested against. The planning application received more than 890 comments, almost all of which were critical. Caroline Criado Perez, who led a successful campaign to have the statue of Millicent Fawcett erected in Parliament Square, called the proposed move “an act of vandalism against women’s history”. The location was "specifically chosen by the suffragettes. I felt very strongly that their wishes should be respected and that it was completely wrong to move the statue to the grounds of a private college.

Alison McGovern, the chairwoman of the House of Commons works of art committee, said: “I am delighted that the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst will remain in its rightful place outside parliament, the place she campaigned for women to enter. There are so few images of women in Westminster as it stands, and removing hers would have been a blow to women’s representation and the history of the campaign for universal suffrage.”