Northampton's first female MP will join town centre statues to commemorate womens' vote

Northampton will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote with a statue of the town's first-ever female MP.

Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 6:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st September 2017, 2:57 pm
Margaret Bondfield will join the other statues in the Courtyard at the Guildhall.

A cast-bronze statue of Margaret Bondfield will join six other famous faces from Northampton installed in the Guildhall courtyard.

She became Northampton's MP in 1923 and later the first female cabinet member. She was also the first woman to be a privy counsellor in the UK, when she was appointed Minister of Labour.

A motion to commission the statue was approved at full Northampton Borough Council meeting on Tuesday (September 18).

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Councillor Zoe Smith said: "Margaret Bondfield was Northampton's first female MP. It is time we recognise her achievement and a statue in the Guildhall Courtyard would be a fitting tribute.

"She's a huge inspiration for me as someone at a time when it's easier for women to get into politics. I think that commemorating her will help to inspire other young women to get into politics."

The statue will join six other bespoke statues commissioned from sculptor Richard Austin.

Five of the statues were cemented in place in July as part of a £44,000 art project by the council to commemorate Northampton's most famous names, including Edgar Mobbs, Francis Crick and Lady Wantage.

It comes after criticism that not enough of the statues were of women.

2018 will mark 100 years since women won the same voting rights as men. Universal suffrage for both men and women followed 10 years later.