A CITY’S first woman Members of Parliament has been commemorated with a blue plaque.

University of Sunderland academic and researcher Dr Sarah Hellawell campaigned to secure the plaque, marking the work of Marion Phillips.

Even today, little is known about the Labour Party politician who held her seat in the city between 1929 and 1931.

Now the plaque has been unveiled in front of current Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson during a ceremony at the former Labour Party Committee Rooms in Foyle Street.

A feminist of her time, Phillips campaigned tirelessly to educate women, urging them to stand up for their rights and take part in political and social reforms.

Dr Hellawell, lecturer in modern British history at the University of Sunderland, 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 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.”

Thanks to Dr Hellawell’s research, the Blue Heritage plaque is now in place so people of the city can be reminded of Phillips’ work and her commitment to helping others.

Dr Hellawell said: “I’m thrilled that Marion Phillips is now commemorated with a blue plaque and that my research has helped to raise awareness of this important figure from history who made an impact.”