It was standing-room only in the Attlee Suite when Dr Paula Bartley gave a vibrant talk to commemorate International Women's Day ‘The Mighty Atom: Ellen Wilkinson MP and Parliamentary Politics 1924-1947.
We gained a fascinating insight into this dynamic and feisty Parliamentarian, whom Paula brought to life with her witty and vivid descriptions. A contemporary of Nancy Aster, Ellen Wilkinson was a true leader.
Known as ‘Red Ellen’ due to her red hair, she was a founding member of the UK communist party and first female trades union leader before becoming Labour MP for Middlesborough in 1924. After a period away from the House, Ellen re-entered in 1935 as MP for Jarrow, and organized the legendary ‘Jarrow March’. A pioneering politician, as first ever female Minister for Education amongst many achievements she ushered in the 1944 Education Act.
Parliament is keen to make more of this historic figure and is actively seeking portraits of Ellen Wilkinson for its collection.
During the evening, guests also had an opportunity to meet young women from the Leeds East school academies, along with emerging entrepreneurs and business women from Yorkshire.
As an additional part of Parliament's IWD celebrations, there was an exhibition in Portcullis House ‘Connecting Girls – Inspiring Futures – Portraits and stories from Yorkshire’ the excellent photographs by Johanna Hilton & Nick Gregan featured young Yorkshire women.
Following the talk and exhibition, Pink Shoe members and guests enjoyed an ‘Aperitivo’ of prosescco and cheese in the Atrium.