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Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE encourages women in the London Borough of Bexley to stand for public office to commemorate 100 years since women were given the vote


Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE met with women across Bexley over the weekend encouraging them to get involved in politics and stand for public office in advance of the 100 year anniversary since Parliament gave women the right to vote.

We want to see more women in public life, and more women representing the Conservative Party at all levels.

That is why we announced £5 million to help celebrate this milestone and to encourage more women to engage in our democracy. It will fund activities in the cities and towns with strong links to the campaign for women’s suffrage, and allow local communities to apply for money to run celebratory events.

Theresa May and the Conservatives have a proud record of promoting women in politics. The first woman to sit in the House of Commons was a Conservative, and we were the first party in the western world to elect a female Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister co-founded Women2Win, appointed a female Vice-Chair to our candidates department to look at how we can get more female candidates and we are working hard in Government to give women greater financial security, ensure equal opportunities in the workplace – so there’s no glass ceiling – and are working to end violence against women and girls.

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Commenting, Councillor O’Neill said:

“It’s very rewarding to represent others, helping to solve issues and deliver change in your local area.  A record number of women were elected to Parliament at the 2017 General Election – but there is still a lot more work to do. 

I want to see more women in politics, and more women representing the Conservative Party at all levels. That is why I will be celebrating this milestone and using it as an opportunity to encourage more women to stand for public office.”

  • Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE has been Leader of the London Borough of Bexley since May 2008 (nearly 10 years) & was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015 for service to the community & local government in London (first sitting Bexley Councillor to receive an Honour).
  • She is the 4th Conservative woman Leader of a London borough in history and is the leader of the Conservative London Leaders at London Councils.

Learn more about being a Councillor

  • Parliamentary and political firsts for Conservative women:
  • 1919: First Member of Parliament to take seat (Nancy Astor)
  • 1970: Deputy Speaker of the Commons (Betty Harvie Anderson)
  • 1975: Leader of the Opposition (Margaret Thatcher)
  • 1979: Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher)
  • 2010: Secretary of State for Wales (Cheryl Gillan)
  • 2016: Lord Chancellor (Liz Truss)
  • 2017: First female Muslim minister to speak at despatch box (Nusrat Ghani)
Cllr O’Neill has led Bexley’s Conservative Council for ten years, having served as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member before that.

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