Betty Boothroyd: 'Inspirational' Yorkshirewoman who became first female Speaker of the House of Commons has died
The current Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, paid tribute to her as her announced her passing.
He said: “She stuck by the rules, she had a no-nonsense style, but any reprimands she had to issue were done with good humour and charm.
"Betty was one of a kind – a sharp, witty and formidable woman who broke the glass ceiling with panache.”
The former MP was the daughter of Dewsbury textile workers who was born in the mill town in 1929. She failed her 11-plus exams for grammar school and went to Dewsbury College of Commerce and Art before becoming part of a dancing troupe in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her father had aspired for her to work in a department store or in the rates department at Dewsbury Town Hall.
She won her first parliamentary election in 1973 and was Speaker from 1992 until her retirement from the Commons in 2000.