This biography traces Betty Boothroyd's humble beginnings as the only child of an impoverished textile-working couple in the Pennine town of Dewsbury, where she formed a desire "to change society". It follows her early adventurous career as a dancer, and then her path through the political foothills - first working for the Labour Party as a secretary to MPs, including Barbara Castle. The book chronicles her attempts to win a seat in Parliament, and her final success in a by-election at West Bromwich. It tells the story of her fight to become recognized in the man's world of Westminster, her role as "hammer of the Left" on the party's national executive and her triumph in becoming the first Labour woman Deputy Speaker. It also tells the inside story of winning the Speakership, the result of an all-party campaign led by John Biffen MP. Finally, her record as Speaker is assessed. Paul Routledge is the author of "Scargill".
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The first biography of the queen of parliament who, as Speaker of the House of Commons, has captured the hearts and minds of the British people.
From her humble beginnings as the only child of an impoverished textile-working couple in the Pennine town of Dewsbury, Betty Boothroyd rose through the Labour ranks to become a figure almost as well -recognised around the world as Lady Thatcher or Princess Margaret, and has carved a unique place for herself in the nation's affections. She has brought to the hurly-burly of the House particular qualities of charm, dignity, firm diplomacy and – most importantly – a sense of humour, rising above the pettiness of inter-party rivalry to wield quiet authority.
'Madam Speaker' is a thoughtful and revealing account of her life by one of Britain's leading political commentators. From her early desire "to change society", through her adventurous career as a dancer, to the political foothills of the Labour Party and to the Speakership itself, Routledge shows how Boothroyd fought for recognition in the man's world of Westminster and, as Speaker, has impressed the stamp of her own unusual personality on this most demanding of roles.
'Routledge begins in a spirit of tribute but is too good a journalist to leave stones unturned'
MALCOLM RUTHERFORD,' Financial Times '
Paul Routledge is political correspondent for the ‘Independent on Sunday’ and has covered the events in Northern Ireland since the 1960s for ‘The Times’, the ‘Observer’ and, most recently, the ‘Independent on Sunday’. He is author of two highly acclaimed political biographies, ‘Scargill: The Unauthorised Biography’ and ‘Madam Speaker: The Life of Betty Boothroyd’.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000255531X