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Book tells story of women MPs

Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, with a copy of the book Honourable Ladies, in which she is featured
Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, with a copy of the book Honourable Ladies, in which she is featured
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Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith has contributed to a new book about female MPs.

The Honourable Ladies profiles every woman MP, from 1918 to 1996, and celebrates the pioneers who over the last 100 years fought tenaciously to introduce enduring reform, helping to revolutionise Britain’s political landscape.

Other female contributors include Caroline Lucas, Mary Beard, Yvette Cooper, Margaret Beckett and Ann Widdecombe.

The book also includes a foreword by Prime Minister Theresa May.

It features the story of Constance Markievicz, who stood for election as MP for Dublin St Patrick’s in 1918. Few people believed she would win the seat, yet she did, becoming the first female MP. Only 11 months later, Nancy Astor entered the Commons.

Since then, 491 women have passed through the hallowed doors of Parliament.

Cat Smith said: “A century on from Constance Markievicz’s election to Parliament and 491 women have now passed through the House of Commons.

“I’m delighted to have been asked to contribute to this important record of achievement.

“The stories of these women deserve to be told and having them together in one place, will be a great resource and a worthy recognition of their contribution to our political life and to the House of Commons.”

Lancaster resident Cat, now 33, became a Labour MP in 2015, when she won the Lancaster and Fleetwood seat by a 1,265 majority from Tory Eric Ollerenshaw.

In June 2016, she was appointed to the shadow cabinet.

She had previously held the role of a shadow minister for women, on the official opposition front bench.

In September 2016, Cat married her partner of 11 years, Ben Soffa and the couple have a son Elijah, who was born in July.

In November 2016, she was appointed Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.