Parliament Square statue to honour Millicent Fawcett's fight for women to vote

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A statue of a leading figure in the campaign to win women the vote is to be erected in Parliament Square in London. 

Suffragist Millicent Fawcett, who led the campaign for women's votes in 1866, will be the first woman to be honoured in this way. Her statue will stand alongside the likes of Sir Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela. 

The statue will form part of celebrations to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which was introduced thanks to Ms Fawcett's campaigning and which first gave some women the right to vote, the Government said. 

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The example Millicent Fawcett set during the struggle for equality continues to inspire the battle against the burning injustices of today.

"It is right and proper that she is honoured in Parliament Square alongside former leaders who changed our country.

"Her statue will stand as a reminder of how politics only has value if it works for everyone in society."

Fawcett Society chief executive Sam Smethers said: "We are delighted that Millicent Fawcett, the woman who led the constitutional campaign for votes for women, will finally be honoured.

"A statue of her in Parliament Square will be a fitting tribute. Her contribution was great but she has been overlooked and unrecognised until now.

"By honouring her we also honour the wider suffrage movement."

In 1866 Ms Fawcett began leading a mass campaign to get women the vote, using peaceful methods to achieve women's suffrage.

She worked alongside the Suffragettes, who employed different and more militant tactics in their campaign.