The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was among those who attended the funeral of one of Cambridgeshire’s most revered politicians, Betty Boothroyd, the first female Speaker of the House of Commons.
The service took place on Wednesday in the 12th Century St George’s Church in Thriplow, the village south of Cambridge where she had lived for many years.
She had served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1992 to 2000 but from 1973 to 2000 had been Labour MP for West Bromwich.
In 2001 she was made a peer and as Baroness Boothroyd entered the House of Lords.
Today we come together from across the political spectrum to remember one of our greatest Speakers – the remarkable Betty Boothroyd.
Parliament stands taller because of her service. pic.twitter.com/svlUmHosX8
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) March 29, 2023
She lived in Thriplow for more than 30 years, and died last month at the age of 93.
Thriplow and Heathfield parish councillor David Easthope said: “Parish councillors were very sorry to hear of the death of Baroness Boothroyd.
“During her busy life in public service and after her retirement Betty greatly valued the privacy that living in Thriplow gave her.”
Rest In Peace to the strictest and most high camp Speaker of the House of Commons there ever was.
The great Betty Boothroyd! pic.twitter.com/id0r8pPEQ0
— Oli (@OliAworth) February 27, 2023
He told the Royston Crow newspaper: “She was a lovely lady who always looked immaculate even when simply going along to the Thriplow shop or for a meal at our village pub – The Green Man.
“After her retirement she supported local organisations by giving excellent and very entertaining talks about her life and work in politics.
“Her presence in the village, together with her wit and wisdom will be missed by many.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and current speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle were among those at the funeral service.
“Today we come together from across the political spectrum to remember one of our greatest Speakers – the remarkable Betty Boothroyd,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
“Parliament stands taller because of her service.”
Sir Keir called Baroness Boothroyd an “inspiration”.
Today we said a fond farewell to Baroness Betty Boothroyd – who broke the glass ceiling to become the first and only woman Speaker. pic.twitter.com/qHQpa5KFk9
— Sir Lindsay Hoyle (@CommonsSpeaker) March 29, 2023
“A devoted public servant, Betty was at the forefront of a generation of women who smashed the glass ceiling for female politicians,” he tweeted.
“She will be dearly missed by all in politics.”
"My rallying days were over, but this fight matters to me more than any I've known in my long life in politics."
Former Commons Speaker, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, argues for a second EU referendum. pic.twitter.com/juFa1fTESV
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) April 9, 2019
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner stood in for Mr Sunak and Sir Keir respectively during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.
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