The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Will There Be Women MPs?
Will There Be Women MPs?

Will There Be Women MPs? 1917

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Will There Be Women MPs? 1917

1 mins United Kingdom

For over a decade the Women's Social and Political Union was the leading voice of women's suffrage, although, as their slogan "Deeds not Words" suggests, their actions spoke louder. By November 1917 the WSPU had morphed into a more nationalistic body supporting the war effort. After posing for the newsreel cameras, as seen here, Emmeline Pankhurst took to the stage of Queen's Hall London to launch the rebranded Women's Party.

The Topical Budget newsreel used the occasion to ask a question about women in parliament, setting aside the matter of votes for women altogether. The following year would see developments on both fronts, with government Acts allowing women over 30 to vote and women over 21 to stand for election (but not to vote themselves!). Nancy Astor became the first female MP to sit in parliament just two years after this newsreel was issued (Constance Markievicz was elected in 1918 but, as a Sinn Fein MP, didn't take her seat). Emmeline Pankhurst used the Women's Party launch to rail against the Russians, take on the trades unions, and set out a policy of "Britain for the British". The Women's Party disbanded in 1919, with Christabel Pankhurst missing election by the narrowest of margins, despite the support of her formidable mother.

Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

Explore
The map

Subscription

View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later