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Baroness Boothroyd

Volume 799: debated on Tuesday 8 October 2019

My Lords, on behalf of the whole House, I would like to pay tribute to the noble Baroness, Lady Boothroyd, one of our most distinguished Members, on her 90th birthday. As noble Lords will know, it is not customary to single out individual Members from the Woolsack, but I am very happy to make an exception on this occasion. The noble Baroness was not only an exceptional champion of the ancient and undoubted rights and privileges of the House of Commons as its Speaker but has continued to make an invaluable contribution to this House since she was introduced 18 years ago. She is now widely recognised as a champion of Parliament and the indispensable role it plays in our constitution.

I read recently that the noble Baroness had told the House magazine that she considers herself rather timid. While that was not exactly my experience in the Commons, I think I speak for the whole House when I say that her no-nonsense approach is as refreshing today as it was on the day that she took up her seat in the Commons. She has always been independently minded but has, in my experience, always acted with courtesy and charm. She is a role model for all parliamentarians—Speakers very much included. We wish her a very happy birthday.