New Bank Governor Supports MP On Banknote Equality

Mark Carney has promised Mary Macleod he will take action

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The new Governor of the Bank of England has backed a call by local Mary Macleod and other campaigners to ensure that there is a female face on English banknotes.

A petition had been set up following the decision to replace prison campaigner Elizabeth Fry with a picture of Sir Winston Churchill on the £5 note in 2015. Campaigners said it could be open to challenge under equality legislation because it meant that apart from the Queen, no banknote would have a picture of a woman.

In a letter to Mr. Carney on his first day in office this week, Mary Macleod called on the new Governor to ensure that the contribution of women to the country's history received due recognition.

While few would argue with the fact that Winston Churchill was one of the greatest, if not the greatest Britons to have ever lived, the symbolism of having no woman on our banknotes left a "chasm" and contributed to the undoing of some of the hard work the Government had done to remove barriers and support women, she said.

Mary is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women and PPS to Culture Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality, Maria Miller.

Examples of important female figures from history included Rosaline Franklin (who contributed to the discovery of DNA), suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, and anti-poverty campaigner Octavia Hill who founded the National Trust, suggested Mary.

In his reply to the MP for Brentford and Isleworth, Mr. Carney said that he fully recognised her concern and was holding discussions on how best to ensure that bank notes represented a diverse range of great British historical figures.

Mr. Carney said the matter would be discussed at the next meeting of the Court of the Bank on July 17th, and he hoped to make a public announcement no later than the end of the month.

July 3, 2013