This morning a team from Vertical Access with help from our art handlers installed this huge painting of MP Charles Bradlaugh in the atrium stairwell. Charles Bradlaugh was elected as the Liberal MP for Northampton in 1880. As a radical freethinker and an atheist he had requested that his affirmation for his swearing-in as an MP would omit any reference to God. When this was denied he expressed his desire to take the oath, but his political opponents refused, on the grounds that his oath would be meaningless. So we see him pictured here, standing alone inside the doors of the House of Commons, but officially barred from entering. He fought against this legal trap for 6 years. When he finally gained entry to Parliament, Bradlaugh became a champion for the people of India who were then under British rule, but unrepresented in the Commons.
Bradlaugh founded the National Secular Society which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.
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