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Betty Boothroyd dies aged 93

Betty Boothroyd
Source: The mirror

The 93-year-old Betty Boothroyd was the first woman to hold the position of speaker in the House of Commons.

Former Labour MP and the first person elected to the position after the House debates became permanently televised in 1989, Baroness Boothroyd served as speaker from 1992 until her retirement in 2000.

When she was chosen Commons speaker in April 1992, she broke 700 years of parliamentary precedent by becoming the first woman to hold the position.

Boothroyd was hailed as a “inspirational woman and politician” who “kept by the rules” and whose “good humour and charm” will be missed, according to Lindsay Hoyle, the current speaker of the House of Commons.

Boothroyd regularly phones Hoyle to inform him if he is right or wrong and encourages him to “tell him (the prime minister) straight,” as Hoyle has revealed.

After serving as the Member of Parliament for West Bromwich West (formerly known as West Bromwich) from 1973 until 2000, Boothroyd was elevated to the position of life lord in the House of Lords.

She was born in Dewsbury, where her mother was active in the Labour Party’s women’s group, and she quickly found herself immersed in the political world.

Betty Boothroyd dies aged 93 with tributes paid to first woman Speaker of the Commons - Mirror Online

Source: The mirror

From 1946 to 1948, Boothroyd pursued a career as a professional dancer, performing in pantomime on the West End.

Before being elected to represent West Bromwich, she ran for and lost four parliamentary seats.

She moved to London in the ’50s and worked for Barbara Castle and Geoffrey de Freitas, two prominent Labour MPs.

Hoyle remarked, “Betty Boothroyd was not just an incredible woman, but also an inspirational politician, and someone I was pleased to call my friend.

“Being the first woman to speak at such a gathering was a huge deal, and Betty handled the pressure of being the first speaker with grace and style.

Since I’m from Lancashire and she’s from Yorkshire, we’ve always had a healthy dose of friendly rivalry. Yet, I found it encouraging that the voice coming from the chair was a northern accent.

She was firm in her adherence to the rules and her no-nonsense approach, yet she always managed to temper any necessary corrections with her signature good humour and charming demeanour.

There has never been anyone like Betty. Such a brilliant, funny, and strong female; I shall miss her. Boothroyd was a “great woman who committed her life to politics,” according to Rishi Sunak.

She will be remembered for the energy, humour, and fairness she brought to politics,” he continued. My sympathies are with her loved ones.”

Keir Starmer, leader of the Labor Party, said, “Betty Boothroyd was an extraordinary and remarkable woman.

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