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Panel from the grille that separated the Ladies' Gallery from the House of Commons and the MPS. The grille was removed in August 1917 just before the passing of the Representation of the People Act that allowed women to become MPs and gave limited suffrage to women over the age of 30. In 1908 The suffragette Muriel Matters chained herself to this grille in protest against women not having the vote. The police and officials, unable to break the chain were forced to unscrew the grille panel and remove Muriel from the gallery, still attached to the grille. As it took some time for the grille to be unscrewed Muriel was able to deliver a campaign speech urging the House to introduce a Votes for Women bill. Her action subsequently enabled the suffragettes to hail Muriel as 'the first woman to ever speak in the House of Commons'.
H 1387 mm; L 483 mm
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