Baroness Betty Boothroyd, The First Female Commons Speaker, Died Today Aged 93

Baroness Betty Boothroyd, The First Female Commons Speaker, Died Today Aged 93

The first female Commons Speaker, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, died today aged 93. The inspiring Dewsbury-born woman was first elected as Labour MP for West Bromwich in 1973.

She made history in 1992 when she has elected as the first female Commons Speaker a role she held until 2000. Baroness Betty is still the only woman to have served in the prestigious position, The Sun reports.

Tributes have been paid to the baroness with current Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “Not only was Betty Boothroyd an inspiring woman, but she was also an inspirational politician, and someone I was proud to call my friend.

“To be the first woman Speaker was truly ground-breaking and Betty certainly broke that glass ceiling with panache.”

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Adding: “She was from Yorkshire, and I am from Lancashire – so there was always that friendly rivalry between us. But from my point of view, it was heartening to hear a Northern voice speaking from the Chair.

“She stuck by the rules, had a no-nonsense style, but any reprimands she did issue were done with good humour and charm.

“Betty was one of a kind. A sharp, witty and formidable woman – and I will miss her.”

Born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire in 1929, Boothroyd was introduced to politics early in life through her mother’s membership of the Women’s section of the Labour Party, according to Sky News.

Highlights of Baroness Boothroyd’s career in politics include working on John F Kennedy’s campaign after he was elected as the Democratic candidate for president, becoming Labour MP member for West Bromwich, and of course first female Speaker of the Commons and the first opposition MP to be elected to the role.

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This is a breaking news story and will be updated as things unfold…

Feature Image Credit: UK Parliament/Chris McAndrew

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