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Austen to appear on latest £10 note

Pride And Prejudice author Jane Austen will appear on £10 notes from 2017, the Bank of England has said following a public outcry over a lack of women on paper money.

Campaigners hailed the move as "a brilliant day for women and a fantastic one for people power" after a 35,000-name petition was presented to the Bank in the wake of the decision to put Sir Winston Churchill on £5 notes in place of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry - one of only two female selections since historical figures were introduced in 1970.

The Bank also announced that it is reviewing the way characters are chosen to feature on banknotes, given that its choices must "command respect and legitimacy".

It is inviting people to email suggestions on how it can make improvements to its selection process.

The Bank will also consider whether it can do more to act within the spirit of the public equality duty, which compels bodies to make sure they are acting fairly when making decisions.

Austen, who is also famous for her aptly-titled work Persuasion, often gently poked fun at the establishment in her books and highlighted the frustrations of quick-witted women and the barriers placed in their way by society. She will appear on the £10 note within a year of Fry disappearing from the fiver.

Freelance journalist Caroline Criado-Perez, who set up the petition on campaign site, said: "Without this campaign, without the 35,000 people who signed our petition, the Bank of England would have unthinkingly airbrushed women out of history."

She thanked the Bank for listening to her concerns, adding: "To hear Jane Austen confirmed is fantastic, but to hear the process will be comprehensively reviewed is even better."

The Bank said it wanted to reassure people that it was never its intention that none of the historic characters appearing on banknotes would be a woman.

Explaining the reasons behind the review, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said: "We want people to have confidence in our commitment to diversity."


From Belfast Telegraph