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The Returning Officer: Nancy Parnell

Nancy Stewart Parnell, a relative of the Irish nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell, stood for the Liberals at Southwark South East in 1935.

By Stephen Brasher

Nancy Stewart Parnell, a relative of the Irish nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell, stood for the Liberals at Southwark South East in 1935. She campaigned for equal pay and became the president of the Union of Women Teachers. At a meeting in Leeds in 1935, she pointed out that women were being appointed because they were cheaper: “Men ought to realise that they were the losers because of inequality of pay.”

Parnell advocated equal franchise at the age of 30 and, in 1961, wrote A Venture in Faith, the history of the St Joan’s Social and Political Alliance (formerly the Catholic Women’s Suffrage Society). In the 1922 election, the group sent questions to candidates on equal franchise, “equal moral standard” and women police.

Stephen Brasher

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This article appears in the 04 May 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The longest hatred

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