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.
10
Famous As: Lawyer, 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 Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall.
6
Famous As: Primatologist
Birthdate: April 3, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England

Jane Goodall is an English anthropologist and primatologist. Goodall's research proved that chimpanzees could use tools like stalks of grass to fish out termites from termite holes; this also challenged the long-held belief that chimpanzees were vegetarians. Goodall also discovered that chimpanzees are capable of emotions like sorrow and joy. Goodall is also credited with founding the Jane Goodall Institute.

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 3 Jameela Jamil

Jameela Jamil.
6
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!

 4 Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst.
4
Famous As: Leader of the British Suffragette Movement
Birthdate: July 4, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moss Side, Manchester
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.

 5 Carrie Symonds

Carrie Symonds.
9
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 Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft.
4
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.

 7 Anna Friel

Anna Friel.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rochdale, Lancashire, England, UK

Anna Friel is a British actress who gained international recognition after portraying Charlotte "Chuck" Charles on the popular American fantasy mystery TV series Pushing Daisies. After starting her professional acting career at the age of 13, Friel went on to establish herself as a successful adult actress. Friel also serves as an ambassador for The World Wide Fund for Nature.

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 8 Jodie Whittaker

Jodie Whittaker
6
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.

 9 Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lumley.
8
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.

 10 Nazanin Boniadi

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

 11 Heather Mills

Heather Mills.
4
Famous As: Media Personality
Birthdate: January 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aldershot, Hampshire
Model Heather Mills lost her left leg in an accident but continued to model using a prosthetic leg. She was previously married to singer Paul McCartney. An avid animal rights activist, she is associated with organizations such as Viva! She has appeared on reality shows like Dancing with The Stars.

 12 Nicholas Winton

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

 13 Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe
4
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.

 14 Julie Christie

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

 15 Annie Besant

Annie Besant.
4
Famous As: Member of the London School Board
Birthdate: October 1, 1847
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clapham
Died: September 20, 1933

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.

 16 Sean Pertwee

Sean Pertwee.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London

Sean Pertwee is an English actor and narrator. The son of actor, Jon Pertwee, Sean followed in the footsteps of his father to establish himself in the entertainment industry. Apart from playing important roles in films like Dog Soldiers, he is also known for his work as a narrator in TV shows, such as Zero Hour and MasterChef: The Professionals.

 17 Emily Davison

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

 18 Lola Kirke

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

 19 Emma Watson

Emma Watson.
2
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.

 20 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.  

 21 Sophie Thompson

Sophie Thompson.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England, United Kingdom

Sophie Thompson is a British actress known for her portrayal of the Baker's Wife in the London revival of Into the Woods, for which she received the Olivier Award under the Best Actress in a Musical category. She has received six other nominations at the Olivier Awards. Also a writer, Thompson has authored a recipe book and a children's book.

 22 Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa.
3
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: August 22, 1995
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

At fourteen, singer Dua Lipa began her career by posting covers of famous songs on YouTube. She soon signed a contract with Warner Music Group and shot into fame with the release of her eponymous chart topping debut album. Since then, she has released her critically acclaimed second album, bagged two Grammys and created history at 2018 BRIT Awards.

 23 Kate Nash

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

 24 Princess Diana

Princess Diana.
4
Famous As: Member of the British Royal Family
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sandringham
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.

 25 Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson
8
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 27, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Luton, United Kingdom

 26 Emily Thornberry

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

 27 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.

 28 Pixie Geldof

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

 29 Anjem Choudary

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

 30 Maxine Peake

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

 31 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.

 32 Robin Cavendish

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

 33 Ricky Tomlinson

Ricky Tomlinson.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 26, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bispham, United Kingdom

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.

 34 Piers Corbyn

Piers Corbyn
3
Famous As: Meteorologist
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chippenham, Wiltshire, England

 35 Sarah Solemani

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

 36 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.

 37 Pamela Harriman

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

 38 David Lammy

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

 39 Sally Bercow

Sally Bercow.
3
Famous As: John Bercow's Wife
Birthdate: November 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sutton

 40 David Mayer de Rothschild

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

 41 Alastair Campbell

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

 42 Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick.
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Littlehampton
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.  

 43 Poly Styrene

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

 44 Andy Burnham

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

 45 George Monbiot

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

 46 David Bellamy

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

 47 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

 48 Millicent Fawcett

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

 49 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

 50 Ghislaine Maxwell

Ghislaine Maxwell.
26
Famous As: Socialite
Birthdate: December 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Maisons-Laffitte, France

Daughter of publishing tycoon, late Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell is a socialite infamous for her involvement with the convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. Charged with sex trafficking of minor girls, she is under investigation by the US Virgin Islands Department of Justice.