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Corbyn, who was accompanied by his long-time political ally, the late Tony Benn, during the daring raid, told ITV News that the pair decided to take matters into their own hands to install the plaque as they believed nobody in the establishment would agree to honour a suffragette in Parliament.
Corbyn recounted how the pair sneaked into Parliament at 11 o’clock at night and walked through the corridors with a toolbox and an electric drill, before being accosted by a police officer who asked them what they were up to.
After the pair had agreed the audacious plan, Corbyn said:
I met him [Tony Benn] when the house finished one evening, went to his car, picked up the toolbox, the plaque, some tools and an electric drill.
[We] walked through parliament late at night, 11 o’clock, and a policeman comes up to us, and I thought ‘oh my goodness!’ ‘How do I explain to a policeman what I’m doing walking through Parliament carrying an electric drill at 11 o’clock at night?!
Corbyn then said that he told the police officer that the pair were just on their way to the Parliament chapel, at which point the officer started walking with them.
Corbyn then stated how Tony Benn had tried to shake off the officer by telling him that ‘there’s no need to come with us.. we’ll be fine, we know the way there!’, to which the officer replied saying that he had the key and needed to let the pair in.
So he walked with us and offered to carry the toolbox, but didn’t ask why we were carrying a toolbox into the chapel! I mean, it must have looked a bit odd, to be honest!
So we went into the chapel, and he locked the door behind us.
Tony supervised whilst I drilled the holes and put all the stuff there and the picture of Emily Wilding Davison. And then we went home!
However, Corbyn went on to say that the next day “Tony got up in Parliament on a point of order and said he had put this thing up, and they were really annoyed! [they said] “You can’t do that, defacing Parliament!”
Because you’d never get permission in those days for something like this. But it was there, and there were various complaints but nothing happened with them. And then the cleaners cleaned it every day, polished it, made it nice. And now it’s a tourist attraction in the building, but it’s important that Emily Wilding Davison should be remembered.
Corbyn’s incredible story goes to show just how unashamedly anti-equality the establishment were during this time. It also emphasises the lengths to which Corbyn and his political allies were willing to go to ensure that those such as Emily Wilding Davison – a women who took it upon herself to bravely oppose a brutal and despicable establishment backlash against the women’s rights movement – was afforded the respect that her courageous actions rightly deserved.
You can watch Corbyn recount his amazing story below:
That time Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn were stopped by a police officer as they sneaked into Parliament late at night: pic.twitter.com/8HkJNik5I4
— ITV News (@itvnews) February 6, 2018
This is how Britain’s most-hated far-right rag decided to report Corbyn’s actions:
A sentiment which tells you everything you need to know about how The Sun feel about equality for women.
You can watch Corbyn’s full interview with ITV News below:
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