Supporters of women on bank notes stage Bank of England protest

Saturday, 06 July 2013 07:53

Campaigners supporting women on UK banknotes held a protest outside the Bank of England yesterday.

Dressed up as British historical characters such as Emily Pankhurst and warrior queen Boudicca, they held a protest on Threadneedle Street outside the Bank of England.

They presented the central bank with a petition signed by 30,000 people protesting against the decision to replace the only woman currently appearing on UK banknotes, Elizabeth Fry with a man, Sir Winston Churchill.

The protest was led by The Women's Room who said it should not be a difficult task to ensure there is always a women on UK banknotes.

Mark Carney moved to address the issue this week by saying that a final decison will be made by the end of this month.

Previously the former Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King said author Jane Austen could replace Charles Darwin on Bank of England £10 notes.

King, appearing before the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) for the final time before he was replaced by Mark Carney on July 1st, said at the end of his appearance that Jane Austen was "quietly waiting in the wings" to replace Darwin.

However, the final decision on whether to select the author of Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice will be made by Mr Carney. The bank has not yet made a decision on when the new historical figure will be included on the £10 note.

Campaigners have criticised the decision to replace Elizabeth Fry with Sir Winston Churchill on the £5 note, arguing that it would mean there were no women on UK bank notes.

Sir Mervyn said that Jane Austen was the likely choice having previously been selected as a reserve choice. 

Sir Mervyn said: "The concern, and I understand it, is it that we might find ourselves in a position where there are no women in the set of historical figures. That's not true.

"In 2015-16, when Churchill notes appear, it will not be the case that Elizabeth Fry disappears. 

"Well before then, the announcement of the next historical figure will be made. The figure we've been working with for two years is Jane Austen. This figure becomes a candidate for the £10 note down the road.

If Jane Austen is selected she will be only the third woman after the Queen to appear on Bank of England notes. Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Fry are the other two.

The other bank notes have economist Adam Smith on the £20 note and engineers Matthew Boulton and James Watt on the £50 note. 

Comments Bubble Comments

Twitter: My Finances

Join the conversation at #news_myfinances

Newsletter sign up


In addition to the weekly newsletter, which areas of finance would you like to hear from us about:

Tick this box if you would like us to send you promotions from carefully selected third parties.

By signing-up you agree to the terms of use and privacy policy.

sign-up button

Get the latest information on: