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WOMEN MPs ELECTED 1950s

1) Elaine Burton

8) Edith Pitt

15) Lady Gammans

2) Eveline Hill

9) Lena Jeger

16) Mary McAlister

3) Pat Hornsby-Smith

10) Joyce Butler

17) Judith Hart

4) Dorothy Rees

11) Evelyn Emmet

18) Betty Harvie Anderson

5) Eirene White

12) Patricia McLaughlin

19) Margaret Thatcher
6) Harriet Slater

13) Joan Vickers

 

7) Patricia Ford

14) Mervyn Pike

 

Elaine Burton (Baroness Burton of Coventry)

Date of Birth

2 March 1904

Family

Unmarried

Education

Leeds City Training College

Early career

Teacher, social worker, journalist, PR consultant

Early political experience

Contested Hartlepool (1943), Hendon (1945)

Years in parliament

House of Commons: 1950-59, def., House of Lords: 1962-91

Party

Labour, SDP (1981-)

Constituency

Coventry South

Offices held

None

Opposition portfolios

SDP spokesman on civil aviation and consumer affairs

Other public offices

Founder member National Federation of Business and Professional Women, Sports Council (1965-71)

Honours or titles

life peerage (1962)

Death

6 October 1991

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Eveline Hill

Date of Birth

16 April 1898 (née Ridyard)

Family

Married (1922), two children

Education

elementary only

Early career

family catering business, company director

Early political experience

Manchester City Council (1936-66, alderman from 1957)

Years in parliament

1950-64 (def.)

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Manchester Wythenshawe

Other public offices

County borough organizer of WVS (1943-50), chairman manchester hospital management committee, JP (1945)

Death

22 September 1973

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Patricia Hornsby-Smith (Baroness Hornsby-Smith)

Date of Birth

17 March 1914

Family

Unmarried

Education

Richmond

Early career

Secretary to Lord Selborne (1941-45), civil servant

Early political experience

Barnes Borough Council (1945-9), Junior Imperial League, Young Conservatives

Years in parliament

House of Commons: 1950-66 (def.), 1970-Feb. 1974, House of Lords: 1974–85

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Chislehurst

Offices held

Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health (1951-57), Joint Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (1957-59), Joint Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Pensions & National Insurance (1959-61)

Other public offices

UN Assembly delegate (1958)

Honours or titles

DBE (1961), life peerage (1974)

Death

3 July 1985

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Dorothy Rees

Date of Birth

1898

Family

Married

Education

elementary and seconary schools

Early career

school teacher

Early political experience

Barry Borough Council, Glamorgan County Council (alderman)

Years in parliament

1950-51 (def.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Barry

Offices held

PPS to Minister of National Insurance (1950-51)

Other public offices

National advisory committee for National Insurance, Joint Education Committee for Wales, Welsh Teaching Hospitals Board

Honours or titles

CBE (1964), DBE (1975)

Death

1988

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Eirene White (Baroness White)

Date of Birth

7 November 1909 (née Jones)

Family

Married (1948)

Education

Somerville College, Oxford

Early career

Journalist

Early political experience

contested Flintshire (1945)

Years in parliament

House of Commons: 1950-70, ret., House of Lords: 1970-99

Party

Labour

Constituency

Flintshire East

Offices held

Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Colonial Office (1964-66), Minister of State, Foreign Office (1966-67), Minister of State, Welsh Office (1967-70), Deputy Speaker House of Lords (1979-89)

Other public offices

NEC (1947-53, 1958-72) , Chairman Fabian Society (1958), University Grants Committee (1977-79)

Honours or titles

life peerage (1970)

Death

1999

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Harriet Slater

Date of Birth

1903 (née Evans)

Family

Married (1931)

Education

Hanley High School, Dudley Teachers’ Training College

Early career

Teacher

Early political experience

National organiser for Cooperative Party (1942-53); Stoke on Trent City Council (1933-65, alderman from 1949)

Years in parliament

1953-66 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Stoke on Trent

Offices held

Government Whip (1964-66)

Honours or titles

CBE (1965)

Death

12 October 1976

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Patricia Ford

Date of Birth

5 April 1921 (née Smiles)

Family

Daughter of Sir Walter Smiles MP; married Neville Ford (two daughters), divorced and remarried Nigel Fisher MP

Education

Bangor Collegiate School and Glendower School, London and abroad

Early career

Housewife

Early political experience

None

Years in parliament

1953-55 (ret.)

Party

Ulster Unionist

Constituency

North Down

Other public offices

Founder and co-chairman of Women Caring Trust (1972-91)

Honours or titles

Lady Fisher (1974-)

Death

23 May 1995

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Mervyn Pike (Baroness Pike)

Date of Birth

16 September 1918

Date of Death 11 January 2004

Family

Unmarried

Education

Hunmanby Hall, East Yorkshire; University of Reading

Early career

Managing director of firm of pottery manufacturers

Early political experience

Contested Pontefract (1951), Leek (1955 )

Years in parliament

House of Commons: 1956-74, ret., House of Lords: 1974-date

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Melton

Offices held

Assistant Postmaster General (1959-63), Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (1963-64)

Other public offices

Chairman of WRVS (1974-81), and Broadcasting Complaints Commission (1981-85)

Honours or titles

life peerage (1974), DBE (1981)

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Lena Jeger (Baroness Jeger)

Date of Birth

1915 (née Chivers)

Family

Married Santo Jeger (1948), future MP

Education

Birkbeck College

Early career

Civil servant, journalist

Early political experience

St Pancras Borough Council (1945-59), London County Council (1951-54)

Years in parliament

Hpouse of Commons: 1953-59 (def.), 1964-79 (ret.), House of Lords: 1979-date

Party

Labour

Constituency

Holborn & St Pancras

Opposition portfolios

Health (1983-86), Social Security (1983-90)

Other public offices

Labour Party NEC (1960-61, 1968-80), party chairman (1979-80)

Honours or titles

Life peerage (1979)

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Joyce Butler

Date of Birth

1910 (née Wells)

Family

Married, two children

Education

King Edward’s High School, Birmingham

Early career

Housewife

Early political experience

Wood Green Borough Council (1947-64, leader 1954-5)

Years in parliament

1955-79 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Wood Green

Offices

PPS to Minister of Land and Natural Resources (1965-67)

Other public offices

Mayor of Haringey (1965-66)

Death

2 January 1992

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Evelyn Emmet (Baroness Emmet of Amberley)

Date of Birth

18 March 1899 (née Rennell)

Family

Daughter of Lord Rennell of Rodd, married (1923), four children

Education

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Early career

Women's Voluntary Service

Early political experience

London County Council (1925-34), West Sussex County Council (1946-67), Conservative Women's National Advisory Committee (1951-54)

Years in parliament

House of Commons : 1955-64, ret., House of Lords: 1964-80

Party

Conservative

Constituency

East Grinstead

Offices held

Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees (1968-77)

Other public offices

JP (1936), UN Delegate (1952, 1953)

Honours or titles

life peerage (1964)

Death

10 October 1980

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Patricia McLaughlin

Date of Birth

23 June 1916 (née Aldwell)

Family

Married (1937) children

Education

Trinity College Dublin

Early career

Housewife

Early political experience

Ulster Women’s Unionist Council

Years in parliament

1955-64 (ret.)

Party

Unionist Party

Constituency

Belfast West

Other campaigns contested Wandsworth Central (1970)

Other public offices

BBC Northern Ireland advisory council

Honours or titles

OBE (1965)

Publications

Women in Parliament

Death

1997

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Joan Vickers (Baroness Vickers)

Date of Birth

1907

Family

Unmarried

Education

St Monica’s College, Burgh Heath, Surrey; Paris

Early career

Social welfare worker and lecturer; colonial service and Red Cross in Asia

Early political experience and other campaigns

London County Council (1937-46), contested South Poplar (1945), Plymouth Devonport (Oct. 1974)

Years in parliament

House of Commons: 1955-Feb. 1974, def., House of Lords: 1974-94

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Plymouth Devonport

Honours or titles

DBE (1964)

Death

23 May 1994

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Edith Pitt

Date of Birth

14 October 1906

Family

Unmarried

Education

elementary only

Early career

industrial welfare officer

Early political experience

Birmingham City Council (1941-45, 1947-54); contested Birmingham Stetchford (1950, 1951), Birmingham Small Heath (1952 )

Years in parliament

1953-66 (obit)

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Birmingham Edgbaston

Offices held

Joint Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Pensions & National Insurance (1955-57); Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health (1959-62)

Honours or titles

DBE (1962)

Death

27 June 1966

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Lady Gammans (Muriel Gammans )

Date of Birth

6 March 1898 (née Paul)

Family

Married David Gammans, future MP (1917), no children

Education

Portsmouth High School

Early career

None

Early political experience

None

Years in parliament

1957-66 (ret.)

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Hornsey

Honours or titles

Lady Gammans (1951-), Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasure (second class)

Death

28 December 1989

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Mary McAlister

Date of Birth

(née McMackin)

Family

Married (1927), four children

Education

Franciscan Convent, Glasgow

Early career

Nurse

Early political experience

Glasgow City Council (1945-58)

Years in parliament

1958-59 (def.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Glasgow Kelvingrove

Orther public offices JP (1947-51)
Honours and titles CBE (1968)

Death

1976

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Betty Harvie Anderson (Baroness Skrimshire)

Date of Birth

12 August 1913

Family

Married (1960), no children

Education

St Leonard’s School, St Andrews

Early career

Auxiliary Territorial Service

Early political experience

Stirlingshire County Council (1945-59), contested Stirlingshire (1950, 1951), Sowerby (1955), Chair of Scottish Young Conservatives (1955-58)

Years in parliament

1959-79 (ret.)

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Renfrewshire East

Offices held

Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means (1970-73)

Other public offices

member, Royal Commission on Local Government in Scotland (1966-69); Deputy Lieutenant of Stirlingshire (1977-79)

Honours or titles

OBE (1955), life peerage (1979)

Death

7 November 1979

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Judith Hart (Baroness Hart of South Lanark)

Date of Birth

18 September 1923 (née Ridehalgh)

Family

Married (1946), two sons

Education

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, London School of Economics

Early career

Lecturer, local government

Early political experience

Contested West Dorset (1951), Aberdeen South (1955)

Years in parliament

House of Commons: 1959-87, ret., House of Lords: 1987-91

Party

Labour

Constituency

Lanark,

Offices held

Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (1964-66), Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations (1966-67), Minister of Social Security (1967-68), Paymaster-General (1968-69), Minister of Overseas Development (1969-70), Minister of Overseas Development (1974-75), Minister for Overseas Development (1977-79)

Opposition portfolios

Overseas Development (1970-74)

Other public offices

Co-chair of Women’s National Commission (1969-70), Labour Party NEC (1969-83)

Honours or titles

DBE (1979), life peerage (1987)

Death

8 December 1991

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Margaret Thatcher (Baroness Thatcher)

Date of birth

13 October 1925 (née Roberts)

Education

Somerville College, Oxford (B.Sc., MA)

Family

Married, two children

Background

Research chemist, solicitor

Early political experience

Contested Dartford (1950, 1951)

Years in Parliament

House of Commons: 1959-92, ret., House of Lords: 1992-date

Constituency

Finchley

Party

Conservative

Offices held

Joint Parliamentary Under Secretary, Ministry of Pensions (1961-64), Secretary of State for Education and Science (1970-74), Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service (1979-90)

Opposition portfolios

Shadow Minister of Transport (1968-69), Shadow Minister of Education (1969-70), Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment (1974), Leader of HM Opposition (1975-79)

Title or honours

OM (1990), life peerage (1992)

Selected further reading

Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (1993), The Path to Power (1995); John Campbell, Margaret Thatcher Volume I: The Grocer's Daughter (2000); Kenneth Harris, Margaret Thatcher (1988); Hugo Young, One of Us (1993)

Official website

www.margaretthatcher.org

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