Famous British Activists

Historically speaking, every country has its own long list of activists who have brought forth the required political or social change in the society thus altering the panorama of country completely. Our society may seem to be running quite satisfactorily today but had it not been for the protests of the activists, things would have been quite different. Like every other country, Britain too suffered from political and social loopholes that created much unrest and turbulence in the country. But British activists took it upon themselves not just to exterminate the society from the political and social evils but to uplift mankind as a whole. Right from abolitionists who worked against slave trade to human rights activists who served for the humanitarian causes, feminists who uplifted the status of women in society to environmentalists who educated the society as to how to protect the environment, reformers who were instrumental in the establishment of social reforms to health activists who educated the people about healthy living, British activists fought against the social and political order of things to make the country a better place to live in. Browse through this section to get details about the life and works of British activists.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney
14
Famous As: Barrister, Human rights activist
Birthdate: February 3, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Amal Clooney is a Lebanese-British barrister, specializing in human rights and international law. Her clients include popular and influential personalities like Yulia Tymoshenko, Nadia Murad, and Julian Assange. Her work and philanthropic activities gained media coverage after her wedding to actor George Clooney. The Clooneys are well-known philanthropists and are founders of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

 2 Jameela Jamil

Jameela Jamil
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 25, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England

Jameela Jamil, who works as an actress, model, writer, and radio presenter, is a fighter in every sense of the word; she fought conditions like hearing loss, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, coeliac disease, and anorexia nervosa before establishing herself as an entertainer. Not to mention a car accident that damaged her spine when she was 17 years old!

 3 Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst
6
Famous As: Leader of the British Suffragette Movement
Birthdate: July 15, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moss Side, Manchester, England
Died: June 14, 1928
Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist best remembered for helping women earn the right to vote in elections by organizing the UK suffragette movement. For playing a major role in achieving women's suffrage in the UK, Pankhurst was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century list in 1999.
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 4 Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft
6
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 5 Carrie Symonds

Carrie Symonds
12
Famous As: Boris Johnson'Partner
Birthdate: 1988 AD
Birthplace: East Sheen, South London
Carrie Symonds, the fiancée of British prime minister Boris Johnson, is the first unmarried partner of a prime minister to stay at 10 Downing Street. A former Conservative Party press officer, she now works with Oceana. She was the youngest victim to testify against serial sexual offender John Worboys. 

 6 Katie Piper

Katie Piper
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 12, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Andover, Hampshire, England

Model Katie Piper made headlines after being attacked with acid by her former boyfriend. She underwent a face restoration surgery to rebuild her damaged face. She then became an activist, released an autobiography, and created a documentary. She also owns a foundation to help burn victims and has hosted Bodyshockers.

 7 Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lumley
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Srinagar

Joanna Lumley is a British actress and prolific activist. In recognition of her work as part of the Gurkha Justice Campaign, Joanna is fondly called as the daughter of Nepal in Nepal. Also known for supporting various other charity organizations and animal welfare groups, Joanna Lumley was appointed an OBE in the 1995 New Year Honours by the queen.

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 8 Nazanin Boniadi

Nazanin Boniadi
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 22, 1980
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Nazanin Boniadi is an Iran-born English actress and activist best known for her portrayal of Nora in the popular American sitcom How I Met Your Mother. She has also played important roles in several other American television series like Homeland and Counterpart. From 2009 to 2015, Nazanin Boniadi served as a spokesperson for the popular non-governmental organization Amnesty International.

 9 Nicholas Winton

Nicholas Winton
4
Famous As: Banker
Birthdate: May 19, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 1, 2015

Nicholas Winton was a British humanitarian and banker best remembered for founding an organization to save children at risk from Czechoslovakia. He is credited with overseeing the rescue of 669 children from Czechoslovakia just before the commencement of the Second World War. This rescue mission came to be known as the Czech Kindertransport.

 10 Jodie Whittaker

Jodie Whittaker
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Skelmanthorpe, West Yorkshire, England, UK

English actor Jodie Whittaker made waves with her debut film Venus, which earned her a Satellite Award nomination. She made headlines when she became the first female to play the doctor in Doctor Who. She is also known for her roles in Black Mirror and Broadchurch.

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 11 Julie Christie

Julie Christie
9
Famous As: Film actress
Birthdate: April 14, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chabua, Assam, British India

 12 Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dagenham, London, England

Born to musician Derek Pascoe, comedian Sara Pascoe was raised by her mother amid poverty after her parents’ divorce. Initially a tour guide, she later stepped into comedy and never looked back. She is known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Twenty Twelve.

 13 Annie Besant

Annie Besant
4
Famous As: Social Reformer
Birthdate: April 16, 1847
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clapham, England
Died: 1933 AD

Annie Besant was a British theosophist, socialist, writer, orator, educationist, women's rights activist, and philanthropist. Despite being British, Besant supported India's freedom movement and even joined the Indian National Congress. She is also credited with co-founding Banaras Hindu University. Besant also helped launch the Indian Home Rule movement to campaign for democracy in the country.

 14 Lola Kirke

Lola Kirke
4
Famous As: Film actress
Birthdate: September 27, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England

 15 Emily Davison

Emily Davison
3
Famous As: Suffragist, Activist
Birthdate: October 11, 1872
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 8, 1913

Activist Emily Davison is remembered for her relentless fight for women’s suffrage. As part of her protest, at the 1913 Epsom Derby, she went in front of King George V’s horse, to attach suffragette flags to it, and was tragically trampled to death. Some regard her as a martyr for women’s causes.

 16 Emma Watson

Emma Watson
3
Famous As: Actress, Activist
Birthdate: April 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

English actress, model, and activist, Emma Watson first gained prominence as a child artiste in the Harry Potter film series. The daughter of lawyers, she was determined to go to college despite her busy acting career and graduated from Brown University. A staunch feminist, she is actively involved with organizations that work for the betterment of women.

 17 Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 1, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wembley, London, England, UK

Riz Ahmed is a British actor and rapper best known for his role in the film Nightcrawler. Born to a British Pakistani family in London, he studied acting at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He began his career in the 2000s. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award.  

 18 David Bale

David Bale
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: September 2, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: South Africa
Died: December 30, 2003

David Bale was an English entrepreneur and animal rights activist. He worked closely with The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which aims at protecting endangered mountain gorillas, and served as one of its board members. Apart from his work as an activist for animal rights and environmental causes, David Bale is also known as the father of actor Christian Bale.

 19 Kate Nash

Kate Nash
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 6, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Harrow, London, England, UK

 20 Maajid Nawaz

Maajid Nawaz
5
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England

As a young boy, Maajid Nawaz had frequent clashes with the skinheads of Essex. Born in England, the SOAS and LSE alumnus had a 4-year stint in an Egyptian jail for his association with the Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. He now promotes secular Islam and has also advised David Cameron.

 21 Princess Diana

Princess Diana
0
Famous As: Member of the British Royal Family
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sandringham, Norfolk, England
Died: August 31, 1997

The first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Diana was a member of the British royal family. As a princess, she became known for her unconventional approach to charity work. She was celebrated as a style icon and fashionista as well. She divorced Charles in 1996 and died in a tragic car accident the following year.

 22 Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 27, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Guildford, Surrey, England, UK

 23 Maxine Peake

Maxine Peake
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 14, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Westhoughton, Bolton, Lancashire, England, UK

 24 Sarah Solemani

Sarah Solemani
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 4, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Camden, London, England

 25 Ricky Tomlinson

Ricky Tomlinson
3
Famous As: Actor,
Birthdate: September 26, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bispham, Blackpool, England

Actor and political activist Ricky Tomlinson is best known as Bobby from Brookside and as Charlie from Cracker. He also played the titular role in the mockumentary Mike Bassett: England Manager and has appeared in The Royle Family. He has also written a bestselling autobiography and donates generously to charities.

 26 Pixie Geldof

Pixie Geldof
3
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: September 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England

 27 Robin Cavendish

Robin Cavendish
3
Famous As: Advocate
Birthdate: March 12, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Derbyshire, England, UK
Died: August 8, 1994

Robin Cavendish was an English medical aid developer and advocate for disabled people. He is credited with aiding the development of medical devices aimed at providing independence to paralyzed people. One of Britain's longest-lived responauts, Cavendish was given three months to live at the age of 28. He lived for 64 years and his story inspired the 2017 film Breathe.

 28 Anjem Choudary

Anjem Choudary
3
Famous As: Islamist, Political Activist
Birthdate: January 18, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England

 29 Liam Fox

Liam Fox
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 22, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: East Kilbride, Scotland, UK

British politician Liam Fox has held important posts, such as that of the Secretary of State for International Trade and has also chaired the Conservative Party. He is also a qualified general physician and a former civilian army medical officer. He is married to a fellow doctor.

 30 David Lammy

David Lammy
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tottenham, London, England, UK

 31 George Monbiot

George Monbiot
3
Famous As: Journalist, University teacher, Activist, Writer
Birthdate: January 27, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kensington

 32 Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: October 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Littlehampton, England
Died: September 10, 2007

Anita Roddick was a British businesswoman and human rights activist. She was also a passionate crusader for environmental issues. She founded the British version of The Body Shop, now The Body Shop International Limited. Her company was among the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals in some products. She was also involved with Greenpeace.  

 33 Poly Styrene

Poly Styrene
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bromley, England
Died: April 25, 2011

 34 David Mayer de Rothschild

David Mayer de Rothschild
3
Birthdate: August 25, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London

 35 Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham
5
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK

 36 Alastair Campbell

Alastair Campbell
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: May 25, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Keighley, Yorkshire, England, UK

 37 David Bellamy

David Bellamy
3
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: January 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Once regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on botany and the environment, David Bellamy was also a successful TV presenter and was a regular on BBC programs. However, he later claimed that he was shunned by the TV fraternity for his denial of the importance of climate change.

 38 Rashid Buttar

Rashid Buttar
0
Famous As: Physician, Activist
Birthdate: January 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England

 39 Corin Redgrave

Corin Redgrave
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 16, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 6, 2010

 40 Gina Miller

Gina Miller
0
Famous As: Business owner and activist
Birthdate: April 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guyana

 41 Samuel Gompers

Samuel Gompers
3
Famous As: Labor leader, Cigar Maker
Birthdate: January 27, 1850
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 13, 1924

 42 Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes
3
Famous As: Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists
Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: October 2, 1958

Apart from being a successful botanist, Marie Stopes was also a popular activist, known for her contribution to the feminist cause. A leading supporter of birth control, she established the UK’s first clinic for family planning. She was also known for her books Married Love and Wise Parenthood.

 43 Piers Corbyn

Piers Corbyn
4
Famous As: Meteorologist
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chippenham, Wiltshire, England

 44 Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen
3
Famous As: Rugby Player
Birthdate: September 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Northampton, England

 45 Millicent Fawcett

Millicent Fawcett
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 11, 1847
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aldeburgh, England
Died: August 5, 1929

 46 Mary Whitehouse

Mary Whitehouse
3
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: June 13, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Died: November 23, 2001

While she was initially a schoolteacher, who specialized in sex education, Mary Whitehouse later began a campaign against the moral standards of the media in Britain, particularly the BBC. She launched the Clean Up TV campaign, vocalizing her opposition toward content such as war and child pornography.

 47 David Oakes

David Oakes
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hampshire, England, UK

 48 James Lovelock

James Lovelock
3
Famous As: Biologist, Chemist, University teacher, Mythographer
Birthdate: July 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Letchworth

Renowned James Lovelock is best known for propagating the Gaia hypothesis, which states that every living being on planet Earth is part of a single self-regulating superorganism. He is also known for his long association with NIMR, London, and Harvard University and has over 50 patents under his name.

 49 Hayley Okines

Hayley Okines
3
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: December 3, 1997
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Arrington
Died: April 1, 2015

 50 Pamela Harriman

Pamela Harriman
3
Famous As: Political activist
Birthdate: March 20, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Farnborough, England
Died: February 5, 1997

Apart from serving as the US ambassador to France and as a Democratic political activist, Pamela Harriman had also been in the news for her three marriages, all to high-profile men, namely, Randolph Churchill, Leland Hayward, and W. Averell Harriman. She also had countless affairs with rich and influential men.