Suffrage Centenary Fund

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th January 2018.

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Photo of Kirstene Hair Kirstene Hair Conservative, Angus 12:00 am, 11th January 2018

What recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in the Scottish Government on plans for the suffrage centenary fund.

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women and Equalities

This year marks a milestone in our democracy; we will celebrate the achievements of outstanding women who have fought for gender equality. The Scottish Government are receiving centenary funding through the application of the Barnett formula. The Government Equalities Office has monthly meetings with the devolved Administrations, who are responsible for how they choose to mark the centenary in their respective nations.

Photo of Kirstene Hair Kirstene Hair Conservative, Angus

I commend the Government on the establishment of the suffrage centenary fund to ensure that this important milestone is marked. Last year, I wrote to the Scottish Government Minister responsible, but I have received no response. Does the Minister share my belief that the devolved Administrations should spend the funds allocated to them to ensure that the centenary is properly celebrated in all parts of the United Kingdom?

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women and Equalities

Women throughout the UK went to the ballot boxes for the first time in 1918, and all four nations contributed to that landmark change. The Scottish Government are like the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive—they are all responsible for how they choose to mark the centenary in their respective nations. I understand that the Scottish Government will announce their plans shortly, but I cannot see why they would not want to mark such a great celebration in an important way.

Photo of Hannah Bardell Hannah Bardell Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade and Investment)

Does the right hon. Lady agree that, as part of the celebrations, a fitting tribute to the great Winnie Ewing, who was elected 50 years ago last year, would be a portrait in the House of Commons?

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women and Equalities

Well, Mr Speaker, I am sure that you listened carefully to that question, as I understand that that is a matter for the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art.