ANDREW PIERCE: Baroness Betty weighs in on suffragette statue hubbub

Mail Online | 8/27/2018 | Andrew Pierce for the Daily Mail
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Whereas 100 years ago, the Suffragettes fought a noble battle to get women the vote, today’s feminist sisterhood is mired in an unseemly squabble over a statue.

It involves plans to relocate a tribute to the Suffragette heroine Emmeline Pankhurst from its site near the Houses of Parliament to a spot in the grounds of Regent’s University a few miles away across London — sparking outrage from some and accusations of ‘vandalism against women’s history’.

Idea - Emmeline - Pankhurst - Trust - Replacement

The idea of moving it comes from the Emmeline Pankhurst Trust. A replacement 12ft-high bronze Pankhurst statue would be installed on Canning Green overlooking Parliament, paid for by the trust.

Among leading women politicians backing this arrangement are Theresa May, Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom and Baroness (Betty) Boothroyd.

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The latter’s involvement is crucial. As Britain’s first, and only, female Commons Speaker, the baroness is one of the most formidable and respected parliamentarians.

Regent’s University is located where Bedford College, the country’s first higher education institution for women was sited, and Boothroyd, 88, enthusiastically backs the plans to move the Pankhurst statue there, while a prominent one is put up near Parliament.

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With characteristic dignity and common sense, Boothroyd asks: ‘What are these feminists so upset about?’ She points out that the current statue ‘is off the beaten track’.

She adds: ‘I’m sure Emmeline Pankhurst would have approved. We will also have an enhanced statue of Pankhurst, in full view of the Houses of Parliament. Feminists should celebrate, not carp about that.’ Bravo, Betty!

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