A Forgotten Suffragist

 

Liberal MP for St Pancras North, Willoughby Dickinson was the only member of parliament with a perfect voting record on women’s suffrage, voting in favour of this between 1906 and 1917. The core of his 1913 Representation of the People Bill became the 1917 bill (it was defeated by 47 votes). In the 1918 election however he lost his seat thanks to his being abandoned by both his party and the women’s societies he had fought alongside. (Lovely Mrs Fawcett who – fearful of upsetting Lloyd George – refused to help Willoughby win re-election).

  • There is an account by David Chadwick of Willoughby’s fight for votes for women here
  • There is also a dissertation by David Chadwick on Willoughby’s involvement with the women’s suffrage movement here

By 1930 Willoughby had returned to politics albeit as a Labour Peer.