Whilst the campaign for votes for women is predominately recognised as a cause fought by women, men played a crucial role both in Parliament and outside.
Members of Parliament
Although many MPs opposed votes for women, there were some supporters. Keir Hardie MP regularly spoke in the House on the subject, questioned Government ministers on the treatment of suffragette prisoners and attended WSPU events.
George Lansbury MP resigned his seat so that he could fight a by-election on the suffrage question. He lost the by-election, but continued to support the campaign. In 1913 he was imprisoned after making a speech at a WSPU rally in support of their campaign of arson attacks.
Some men actively played a part in militant suffragette activity. One man who played a leading role was Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, joint editor of the publication 'Votes for Women' with his wife Emmeline. Frederick Pethick-Lawrence was imprisoned, went on hunger-strike and was forcibly fed on many occasions. He was an MP between 1923 and 1931, and remained influential in Parliament as an elder statesman in the House of Lords later in life.