A new memorial plaque will be erected to commemorate the election of the first woman MP, Irish republican Constance Markievicz, Jeremy Corbyn has announced.
Countess Markievicz, who played a major role in the 1916 Easter Rising, was elected as a Sinn Fein MP in 1918 but did not take her seat as she was serving a jail sentence at Holloway Prison in Islington North at the time.
News that the Labour leader is set to pay tribute to the Sinn Fein rebel – announced during his speech to the women’s conference during the Labour party conference on Saturday in Brighton – has met with anger from Lord Tebbit whose wife Margaret was paralysed in the 1984 IRA bombing of a Conservative party conference in Brighton.
“This confirms he is a true and undoubted friend of terrorists who want to murder British people time and time again,” Lord Tebbit told The Sun on Sunday.
The Brighton bomb – which detonated on October 12, 1984 – had been planted with the aim of killing then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet.
Addressing the conference, Mr Corbyn said: “It was, of course, Connie Markievicz who was elected as a Sinn Fein member for Dublin Central, the first woman elected to Parliament. She didn’t want to take her seat and couldn’t take her seat anyway.
“But I have been discussing this with women colleagues on Islington Council and when we rebuild our library next to the prison we are going to have a plaque, a memorial, up so that all the generations can understand the contribution that Connie Markiewicz and so many others made.”
Mr Corbyn recently reiterated his support for a united Ireland.
Earlier this month shadow chancellor John McDonnell apologised “from the bottom of my heart” for the offence caused by calling for Irish republican terrorists to be honoured but suggested his comments may have helped the peace process.