Suffragette spirit of Edith Rigby whips up Preston city councillors

Preston's cherished firebrand Edith Rigby may be long gone but her spirit lives on.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 14th December 2018, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 2:07 pm
Edith Rigby being arrested by police in 1907
Edith Rigby being arrested by police in 1907

Her suffragette fever created quite a stir as councillors tussled over the political ownership of a project to bring a statue of her to the city.

At a Town Hall meeting on Thursday one Conservative party member had brought forward a motion to set up a working group see a statue of the famous figure in Preston.

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Leader of the council and Labour member coun Matthew Brown said: “We have got a working group already. It doesn’t make sense.

“You decided to put a motion forward and take the credit from it.”

It prompted coun Neil Cartwright, leader of the Conservative group, to come back accusing the Labour group of “spoilt children politics”.

He said: “The whole motion was not to actually play politics. It never crossed our minds. We thought it was as nonpolitical as you can get. This is a cracking good idea. Let’s do it and get on with it.

One Labour councillor then accused the Conservatives of “piggybacking on [the suffragette’s] suffering” saying the party had presided over their torture.

The motion was eventually withdrawn to be re-written to be mutually agreeable.

* When the suffragette movement was at its height it was in fact the Liberal Government which was in power.