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13 October 2016

The Returning Officer: Anne Freemantle

Anne-Marie Freemantle was the youngest woman candidate in 1935, fighting Westminster St George’s for Labour. 

By Stephen Brasher

Anne-Marie Freemantle was the youngest woman candidate in 1935, fighting Westminster St George’s for Labour. (Her cousin Bridget Jackson stood for the Tories in the Labour seat of Clay Cross.) She reportedly caused “much admiration” by “canvassing with her baby”. Born in France, she was converted to Islam aged 11 by Marmaduke Pickthall; she later wrote his biography. In 1931, she came first and second in the NS short story competition under different names. She chose St George’s as it had been the seat of Charles James Fox.

In the war, she drove an LCC ambulance, worked at the British embassy in Washington, DC, and converted to Catholicism.

Stephen Brasher

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This article appears in the 05 Oct 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Trump's triumph