Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1919: Communist Mary Bamber wins Everton Ward for Labour

On 21st May 1919, Mary Bamber won the Everton ward in the council elections, standing for the Labour Party.

Her win was remarkable for a couple of reasons. Not only was she a Communist who sympathised with the Russian revolution, but she was also a woman. Following years of agitation by the suffragettes - amongst whom Bamber was a prominent campaigner - the post-war government of David Lloyd George had finally extended the vote to women over the age of thirty. No women were elected to Parliament in the 1918 general election, so Bamber must have been one of the first females to be elected in Britain.

Sylvia Pankhurst described Bamber as the “finest, fighting platform speaker in the country”, and her election in the former Orange stronghold of Everton was only one landmark amongst many in a remarkable life of struggle.
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