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28 April 2016

The Returning Officer: Rothwell

By Stephen Brasher

Mrs G Beaumont was the Tory candidate for this seat in the 1935 general election. During the campaign, she reported that there was “a strong dislike of women candidates and people often told me they would not vote for a woman”. Two miners had told her, “The only woman who could get in this division was Mae West.” The Yorkshire Post noted, “The Liberals have promised Mrs Beaumont less passive support on polling day,” and that her need was for “motors and yet more motors”.

In 1940, Beaumont spoke at the annual meeting of the Yorkshire Conservative provincial council. “We entered the war unwillingly,” she said, “but in the belief that victory for the Allies would mean a new era when small nations could live without the ever-haunting fear of aggression.”

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This article appears in the 20 Apr 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Shakespeare 400 years Iater