Mr George Lansbury

Gender: Male

Marital Status: Married

Born: 1859

Died: 1940

Place of birth: Halesworth, Suffolk, England

Occupation: Timber merchant and MP

Main Suffrage Society: WSPU

Other Societies: CLWS

Arrest Record: Yes

Recorded Entries: 3


Other sources:
Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866?1928 (1999)

Database linked sources:

Further Information:

Family information: Father was a railway worker. Married Elizabeth Brine in 1880 and had 12 children.

Additional Information: George had stood unsuccessfully as Socialist parliamentary candidate for the SDF where he lived in the East End of London, before joining the Independent Labour Party in 1905. An advocate of women's rights, he was involved in organising the march of 1,000 destitute women to Westminster in 1905 and, about a year later, donated money to the WSPU (which his wife Elizabeth joined). By 1910, he was a member of the Church League for Women's Suffrage (CLWS). Also in 1910, he became a member of the London County Council and, by the end of the year, became Labour MP for the Bow and Bromley constituency. During his time as a Labour MP, George wrote articles for the WSPU Votes for Women newspaper and caused an uproar in the House of Commons when he attacked the Prime Minister for allowing suffragettes to be forcibly fed. George increasingly took advice from WSPU leaders Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, but their policy of voting against every bill put forward by the Liberal government on any and all issues (whether for public good or bad), until a women's suffrage measure was introduced, put him at odds with the Labour Party. Thus, on Emmeline and Christabel's advice, and with a promise of help from the WSPU, he resigned from the Labour Party in 1912 and stood for re-election in Bow and Bromley as an 'independent' candidate supporting women's suffrage. He was defeated. Nevertheless, George continued to support the WSPU and was arrested after a 'vociferous' speech on suffrage militancy in 1913. He was sentenced to three months in prison but was released under the 'Cat and Mouse Act' after going on hunger and thirst strike. Likely due to the threat of bad publicity for the government, he was not sent back to prison. In 1913, George became editor of a left-wing socialist newspaper, the Daily Herald,and in 1914, joined and became vice president, with his wife, of the United Suffragists (US). He worked closely with fellow socialist and suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst during the First World War. In 1916, George was an executive member of the National Council for Adult Suffrage, which continued to press the women's suffrage issue.

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