November 28 is a double anniversary. In 1919 the first woman MP actually to take up her seat in the House of Commons was elected. Nancy Astor contested the seat of Plymouth South after her husband had succeeded to the title and went up to the House of Lords. She beat the Liberal candidate, Isaac Foot and, as the left-wing Spartacus Educational reminds us, her victory annoyed many professed feminists as she was definitely not one of them and a Conservative to boot. Also an American but she had made her home in Britain.

Time went on but left-wing attitudes did not change and similar attacks were directed at the first woman Prime Minister of this country, also a Conservative but in no way American, Margaret Thatcher. November 28, 1990 was the day on which she formally tendered her resignation to the Queen. Many of us can remember the shock of the occasion.


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