Betty Boothroyd dies: first woman speaker of the House of Commons passes away aged 93

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Betty Boothroyd was born in Dewsbury in Yorkshire in 1929.

Betty Boothroyd, the first woman to become the speaker of the House of Commons, has died at the age of 93.

Incumbent speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, MP, said he was “saddened” at the news. “I’m very saddened to hear of the passing of my friend the Rt Hon. Betty Boothroyd, Speaker of the House of Commons 1992 - 2000. I’d like to offer my heartfelt condolences, on behalf of the House, to Betty's family and loved ones,” said Mr. Hoyle.

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Betty Boothroyd served as Member of Parliament for West Bromwich and West Bromwich West from 1973 to 2000. From 1992 to 2000, she served as Speaker of the House of Commons, the first woman to do so.

Boothroyd was a Labour MP but earned respect from both sides of the house. After leaving her role as speaker in 2000, she went on to take up a life peerage in the House of Lords with the title Baroness Boothroyd

Lindsay Hoyle continued: “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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