I’ve been to the Houses of Parliament a few times now over the last 18 months. I’ve seen grand offices, libraries, ornate wood panelled corridors which echo with whispered secrets and important decisions that were made on the move throughout history. The one room I am still yearning to visit however is the tiny broom cupboard which hosted Suffragette Emily Wilding-Davison the night of the 1911 census. She hid herself away illegally so that she could write her address as being ‘The House of Commons’ thus making her claim to the same political rights as men.
You may wonder why I am referring to a cupboard when posting about Labour MP Yvette Cooper, but as I walked into her office the first thing I saw was a massive portrait of Emily Wilding-Davison above the mantelpiece. Underneath was a framed copy of the section of the 1911 census that included Emily’s address. I so badly wanted to take a closer look but there wasn’t any time as the interview was occurring and I had to jump straight into action to be ready for the shoot.
It was so nice to see it hanging in the office of a successful female Labour MP, there’s still a way to go for gender equality, but I think it’s a wonderful reminder of how far we’ve come in 100 years.