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WOMEN MPS ELECTED 1960s

1) Joan Quennell

6) Shirley Williams

2) Anne Kerr

7) Jill Knight

3) Margaret McKay

8) Joan Lestor

4) Rene Short

9) Winifred Ewing

5) Shirley Summerskill

10) Bernadette Devlin

11) Gwyneth Dunwoody

 

Joan Quennell

Date of Birth

23 December 1923

Family

unmarried

Education

Dunhurst and Bedales Schools

Early career

farmer, war service

Early political experience

Vice Chairman, Horsham Conservative Association (1949), Chairman (1956-61); West Sussex County Council (1951-61)

Years in parliament

1960-Sept. 1974 (ret.)

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Petersfield

Offices held

PPS to Minister of Transport (1962-64)

Other public offices

JP (1958-80)

Honours or titles

MBE (1958)

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Anne Kerr

Date of Birth

24 March 1925 (née Bersey)

Family

married (1944), one son; remarried Russell Kerr, future MP (1960)

Education

St Paul's Girls' School

Early career

actress and broadcaster

Early political experience

London County Council (1958-61, 1961-65), contested Twickenham (1959)

Years in parliament

1964-70 (def.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Rochester

Other public offices

Chairman, Women against the Common Market

Death

29 July 1973

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Margaret McKay

Date of Birth

22 June 1911 (née McCarthy)

Family

married

Education

elementary only

Early career

union official, PR consultant

Early political experience

contested Walthamstow East (1959)

Years in parliament

1964-70 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Clapham

Other public offices

TUC Chief Women's Officer

Honours or titles

Commander of Order of Cedar of Lebanon

Death

1 March 1996

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Rene Short

Date of Birth

1919

Family

married, two daughters

Education

Manchester University

Early career

journalist

Early political experience

Hertfordshire County Council (1952-67), Watford Rural District Council (1952-56), contested St Albans (1955), Watford (1959)

Years in parliament

1964-87 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Wolverhampton Northeast

Offices held

Chairman of select committee on social services (1979-87)

Other public offices

Labour NEC (1970-81, 1983-88)

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Shirley Summerskill

Date of Birth

9 September 1931

Family

daughter of Edith Summerskill MP, unmarried

Education

Somerville College, Oxford; St Thomas' Hospital

Early career

medical doctor

Early political experience

contested Blackpool North (1962)

Years in parliament

1964-83 (def.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Halifax

Offices held

Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (1974-79)

Opposition portfolios

Health (1970-74), Home Affairs (1979-83)

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Shirley Williams (Baroness Williams of Crosby)

Date of Birth

27 July 1930 (née Catlin)

Family

married twice, one daughter by first marriage

Education

Somerville College, Oxford; Columbia University

Early career

journalist

Early political experience

contested Harwich (1954 and 1955), Southampton Test (1959)

Years in parliament

1964-79 (def.), 1981-83 (def.)

Party

Labour, SDP (1981-), SLDP (1988), Liberal Democrat (1989-)

Constituency

Hitchin, Hertford & Stevenage (1974-), Crosby (1981-)

Offices held

PPS to Minister of Health (1964-66), Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Labour (1966-67)
Minister of State, Department of Education & Science (1967-69), Minister of State, Home Office (1969-70), Secretary of State for Prices & Consumer Protection (1974-76), Secretary of State for Education & Science and Paymaster General (1976-79), Liberal Democrat leader of the House of Lords (2001-date)

Opposition portfolios

Social Security (1970-71), Home Secretary (1971-73), Prices and Consumer Affairs (1973-74)

Other public offices

Labour Party NEC (1970-81), President of SDP (1982-88)

Honours or titles

life peerage (1993)

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Gwyneth Dunwoody

Date of Birth

12 December 1930 (née Philips)

Family

daughter of Baroness Philips and Morgan Philips, Labour party general secretary; married John Dunwoody, future MP (1954, later divorced), three children

Education

Fulham County Secondary School

Early political experience

contested Exeter (1964)

Years in parliament

House of Commons 1966-70 (def.), Feb. 1974-date; European Parliament (1975-79)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Exeter, Crewe (1974-83), Crewe & Nantwich

Offices held

Parliamentary Secretary to Board of Trade (1967-70), chair of select committee on transport (1997-2001)

Opposition portfolios

Foreign Affairs (1979-80), Health (1980-83), Transport (1984-85)

Other public offices

Labour Party NEC (1981-88), vice president Socialist International Women, Director, Film Production Association of Great Britain (1970-74)

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Jill Knight (Baroness Knight of Collingtree)

Date of Birth

1923

Family

married (1947), two sons

Education

King Edward Grammar School

Early political experience

Northampton Borough Council (1956-66), contested Northampton (1959, 1964)

Years in parliament

1966-97 (ret.)

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Birmingham Edgbaston

Offices held

member of various select committees

Other public offices

Council of Europe (1977-88), Chairman British Inter-Parliamentary Union (1994-97)

Honours or titles

MBE (1964), DBE (1985), life peerage (1997)

Further reading

Knight, About the House (1985)

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Joan Lestor (Baroness Lestor of Eccles)

Date of Birth

13 November 1931

Family

married and divorced, two adopted children

Education

London University

Early career

nursery school teacher

Early political experience

Wandsworth Borough Council (1958-68), LCC (1962-64), contested West Lewisham (1964)

Years in parliament

1966-83 (def.), 1987-97 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Eton & Slough, Eccles (1983-)

Offices held

Under-Secretary of State, Department of Education & Science (1969-70), Under-Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (1974-75), Under-Secretary of State, Department of Education & Science (1975-76)

Opposition portfolios

Education (1970-74), Development & Cooperation (1987-88), Children (1989-92), Children & the Family (1993-94), Overseas Development (1994-97)

Other public offices

Labour Party NEC (1968), Labour party chairman (1977-78)

Honours or titles

life peerage (1997)

Death

27 March 1998

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Winifred Ewing

Date of Birth

10 July 1929

Family

married, three children including Annabelle Ewing MP MSP and Fergus Ewing MSP

Education

University of Glasgow

Early career

solicitor, law lecturer

Years in parliament

House of Commons (1967-70 (def.), Feb. 1974-79 (def.), European Parliament (1979-99 (ret.)), Scottish Parliament (1999-date)

Party

Scottish National Party

Constituency

Hamilton, Moray & Nairn (1974-); Highlands & Islands (European and Scottish Parliaments)

Other public offices

President, Glasgow Bar Association (1970-71)

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Bernadette Devlin (McAliskey)

Date of Birth

23 April 1947

Family

married with children

Education

Queen's University of Belfast

Early career

student

Years in parliament

1969-Feb. 1974 (def.)

Other campaigns

Contested Northern Ireland seat in European election (1979) and Dublin North Central (Feb. and Nov. 1982)

Party

Independent Unity

Constituency

Mid Ulster

Other public offices

founder, Irish Republican Socialist Party

Further reading

Devlin, The Price of My Soul (1969)

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