First woman Commons Speaker Betty Boothroyd dies aged 93
Betty Boothroyd – the first female Speaker of the House of Commons – has died at the age of 93.
She served as Speaker from 1992 to 2000 before going on to become a baroness in the House of Lords from 2001.
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle described Boothroyd as “an inspirational woman” who was known for her “no-nonsense style.”
She was Labour MP for West Bromwich West from 1973 to 2000.
“To be the first woman Speaker was truly groundbreaking and Betty certainly broke that glass ceiling with panache,” Sir Lindsay said.
“Betty was one of a kind. A sharp, witty and formidable woman – and I will miss her.”
The flags in Parliament are being flown at half-mast and there will be a one-minute silence held in the House of Commons on Monday.
MPs will get the chance to pay formal tributes on Tuesday.
Tributes to Betty Boothroyd
PM Rishi Sunak said Baroness Boothroyd was a “remarkable woman” praising her “passion, wit and sense of fairness”.
Former PM Tony Blair said she was “big-hearted and kind”, whilst Sir John Major described her as “easy to like and easier still to admire”.
The former Tory PM Theresa May said she had earned “the respect and admiration” of all MPs during her time as Speaker.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described her as a “dedicated and devoted public servant who will be dearly missed”.