A CITY’S first female MP will be commemorated with a blue plaque, 90 years after her election.

Sunderland’s first woman MP, Marion Phillips, held her seat in the city between 1929 and 1931. She was secretary of the standing joint committee of Industrial Women’s Organisations and worked with the international network of Labour and Socialist women.

During the Great War, she was appointed to a number of significant bodies, including the Reconstruction Committee and in 1918, Phillips became the Labour Party’s first Chief Woman Officer, a role she retained until her death.

Phillips was elected as an MP on May 30, 1929, with 31,794 votes and she campaigned on issues relating to the interests of the working people of Sunderland, including paid holidays, unemployment schemes and training for women workers.

However, her tenure as MP was short as she lost her seat at the General Election in October 1931. Phillips died just three months later, following a short battle with stomach cancer.

University lecturer Dr Sarah Hellawell has been campaigning for her work to be commemorated.

The Sunderland University lecturer in modern British history said: “During the last 18 months, I have been busy delivering a number of public talks as part of the Suffrage Centenary commemorations.

“I was left surprised that so few people have actually heard of Sunderland’s first female MP, Marion Phillips.

“Because of this, I have delved a little deeper into the archival sources of this interesting politician and her work in the North-East.

“In July 1926, Phillips visited the Ryhope Miners’ Hall in Sunderland. She donated a christening gown and shawl to an impoverished mining family who were expecting a baby. In turn, the Barnes family christened their daughter Marion Phillips Barnes.

“Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Marion Phillips’ namesake, who is now 93 years old and still living in Sunderland.

“This example is one of many acts of kindness that earned the Chief Woman Officer a positive reputation within the North-East.”

The plaque will be unveiled at 18 Foyle Street in Sunderland at 3pm on Friday, September 13.