The Returning Officer: Hastings III

In 1931, Isobel Goddard was the second woman to stand for Labour in Hastings.

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In 1931, Isobel Goddard was the second woman to stand for Labour in Hastings. The Sussex Agricultural Express noted that she was “a well-known economist and social worker”. She had also been a private secretary to the MPs Nancy Astor and Norman Angell. At a May Day gathering at the White Rock Pavilion, she said that she hoped her listeners were taking part in the communal life of Hastings, as: “That is the essence of socialism.” She came second, pushing the Liberal candidate Thomas Spearing (who also stood in 1929) into third place.

In 1932, she addressed the “Hastings Parliament”, backing a bill for “the prevention of unemployment”. Opposing her, the independent councillor Mr Tingle said the solution was to “sack some of the women and let the men work”. 

This article appears in the 18 February 2016 issue of the New Statesman, A storm is coming