Family work to clear PM plot suffragette's name

Image caption,
Alice Wheeldon (right) was convicted along with her daughter Winnie Mason (left) and son-in-law Alfred Mason

The family of a woman jailed for a plot to poison a prime minister has lodged an application to review her case.

Alice Wheeldon was convicted in 1917 of a conspiracy to kill David Lloyd George as she opposed World War One.

The shopkeeper, from Derby, and her children had become the focus of government attention.

A family descendant said "documents suppressed by the state" show the trial was unfair and that her trial should be quashed.

Wheeldon, her daughter Winnie Mason and son-in-law Alfred Mason were all convicted of conspiracy to murder.

She had become the focus of government attention because she was a suffragist and an anti-war activist.

A man called Alex Gordon pretended to sympathise with them, but he was an MI5 spy who claimed they were plotting to kill Lloyd George with a poisoned dart.

Wheeldon's great-granddaughter Chloe Mason, who lives in Australia, came to England to deliver the application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

She said: "I am absolutely delighted and relieved it's come to this day."

Image caption,
Chloe Mason has been working on getting her ancestors' convictions quashed

The family has compiled more than 170 pages of evidence made up of discoveries by historians and a tranche of documents released over the years under the Public Records Act.

Ms Mason hopes it will prove the prosecution was unfair.

"My hope is that the commission will accept this application and review the case with the material we have given them, and send it back to the Court of Appeal," she said.

"The trial was indeed unfair and therefore their convictions should be quashed."

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Campaigners claim the family were imprisoned because of their opposition to World War One

Ms Mason and her sister Deirdre came to the UK in 2017, when they held a vigil outside the Royal Courts of Justice as part of their campaign.

Deirdre died of cancer in the same year.

Ms Mason said: "She knew I would carry it through, I'm here for her too."

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