Born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, in 1929, Betty Boothroyd is best known for her term of office as Parliamentary Speaker. A shop girl on leaving school, she soon became a professional dancer joining the famed Tiller Girls dance troop where she stayed from 1946 until 1954. She then entered politics becoming secretary to Barbara Castle followed by a number of other roles. She entered Parliament herself in 1973 winning the by-election at West Bromwich after failing to be elected on a number of previous occasions. Betty Boothroyd was elected Speaker in 1992, the only woman to have held the position. On resigning in 2000, she also left Parliament having taken the Chiltern Hundreds. Awarded a life peerage in 2001 she has continued her career in the House of Lords where she remains a highly respected if a forthright member.
|On the capaign trail in West Bromwich in 1973|