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Wednesday, October 6, 1999 Published at 07:06 GMT 08:06 UK

UK: Northern Ireland

Mowlam 'more influential' than Queen

The British state figurehead is considered less powerful than...

Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam is more influential than the Queen, according to a new list of Britain's top 100 women.

Dr Mowlam came eighth in the list compiled by Good Housekeeping magazine, but Her Majesty was only number 89th.

[ image: ..Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam...]
..Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam...
The Queen was one place above TV cook Delia Smith, but behind Channel 4 star Carol Vorderman (72nd) and comic Dawn French (82nd).

The list is topped by Elisabeth Murdoch, the 31-year-old daughter of media baron Rupert Murdoch, who is managing director of satellite television company Sky Networks.

Dr Mowlam's Labour colleagues are also well-represented in the list. Lords Leader Baroness Jay was second, and Education and Employment Minister Baroness Blackstone was third.

Prime Minister's wife Cherie Booth is seventh and Commons Leader Margaret Beckett ninth.

The list was compiled with the help of social psychologist Dr Terry Hall, who ranked leading women in the fields of business, the arts, the media and politics.

They were evaluated under criteria which took into account their power and influence, global acknowledgment, media access, importance of message, expertise, status in workplace, earnings and uniqueness of position.

Editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping Lindsay Nicholson said: "This research is a fascinating portrait of the power generation of women in Britain.

[ image: ...comedian Dawn French...]
...comedian Dawn French...
"Ten, even five years ago, such a list would have told a very different story.

"The new Millennium is being ushered in to the sound of glass ceilings shattering all across the country."

Commons Speaker Betty Boothroyd is 18th on the list, one place above Harriet Harman.

Despite losing her Cabinet job, she remains highly placed by virtue of her seat on Labour's National Executive Committee and personal friendship with the Blairs.

Newspaper editors Janet Street-Porter, who recently took over at the Independent on Sunday, and Rosie Boycott, who heads The Express, are also highly placed, in 24th and 26th positions respectively.

Tory leader William Hague's wife Ffion is 63rd on the list, with Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe 77th and former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher just making it into the top 100 in 95th place.

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