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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

‘One of a kind’ Betty Boothroyd, UK’s first female Commons Speaker, dies

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Baroness Betty Boothroyd, the first woman to be elected Speaker of Britian’s House of Commons, has died at 93.

The current Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle paid tribute to Lady Boothroyd as “one of a kind”.

She became the first woman to be elected Speaker in April 1992, staying on in the role until October 2000.

Sir Lindsay 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.

“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.”

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