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Wednesday, 12 July, 2000, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Madam Speaker's career
Unveiling of her portrait by artist Jane Bond.
Larger than life: There is only one Betty Boothroyd
Politicians have enjoyed eight years of the colourful Betty Boothroyd as Speaker of the House of Commons.

Her command over the House has been stern and charismatic,and she has never been afraid to put her foot down.

BBC News Online takes a look at Betty's eight year reign:

April 1992: Elected as the 55th Speaker by 372 to 238 votes.
Betty Boothroyd (left) and Jo Richardson
Black sash girls: Betty Boothroyd (left) delivers an anti-apartheid petition in 1956

July 1992: Expels Dennis Skinner from Commons when he refuses to withdraw remarks that John Gummer was a "wart" and a "little "squirt."

December 1992: Suspends Commons over Scottish protest against self-governing hospital trusts.

January 1992: Warns Ann Clwyd not to park in Ministers' places in Palace of Westminster, threatening to have her wheel-clamped.

February 1993: Blames sex discrimination by male-dominated selection committees for shortage of women MPs.

March 1993: Frustrates a planned dialogue between Tory MP Marion Roe and Minister Ann Widdecombe on how much better pensioners' lives were under the Tories by switching off Widdecombe's microphone when she tries to answer an unrelated second question.

Betty Boothroyd labour electioneering in Nelson Colneby-election, 1968

May 1993: Criticises Virginia Bottomley for putting in an important written statement into Hansard without a question being asked.

May 1993: Rules that a separate vote can be taken on the social chapter of the Maastricht treaty although it has already been rejected by her deputy.

May 1993: Speaks in Westminster Hall about Nelson Mandela

July 1993: Uses her casting vote to support the government in what was (falsely) thought to be a tied vote on the Social Chapter of the Maastricht treaty.

1992: Red carpet treatment for the Speaker of the House

July 1994: Forces Rod Richards to apologise to her and the house for calling Peter Hain a "liar".

November 1994: Promises to take action against Tory "yobbos" being incited to disrupt Tony Blair's speeches by Tory deputy chairman John Maples

December 1994: Suspends the passes of two drunken Tory researchers who invade the offices of Tony Blair.

April 1995: Turns down a private notice question to Virginia Bottomley on the planned closure of St Bartholomew's Hospital by Peter Brooke on the grounds that it is too narrowly drawn.

Betty Boothroyd in 1995

November 1995: Deplores "personal attacks" by Tory MP David Shaw on Labour MPs Glenda Jackson and Margaret Hodge.

December 1995: Rebukes Tory MP Rod Richards for criticising Tony Blair for sending his son to the Oratory School.

September 1996: Again bans launching of a Gerry Adams books in the Commons.

October 1996: Suggests that "the reputation of the house as a whole has been called into question" following "cash-for question" allegations. Announces the charge is serious enough to warrant a discussion on the floor of the commons, including a vote to refer it to the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges.

Betty Boothroyd arrives at St Margarets Church in February 2000

March 1997: Bans bleepers and electronic prompters from the Commons chamber.

May 1997: Retains her seat with a doubled majority of 15,423, is re-elected Speaker unopposed, on the nomination of Gwyeth Dunwoody.

May 1997: Defends freedom of speech for MPs when Llew Smith claims to be threatened by Welsh Secretary Ron Davies for voicing his opinion to devolution.

Announcing her retirement, she asked MPs to be happy for her

August 1997: Is given pride of place in Delhi at India's celebration of its 50th anniversary of independence.

February 1998: Berates MPs for cheering arrivals of their party leaders at PM's question time.

May 1998: Celebrates her 25th anniversary as an MP.

July 1998: Complains to the Leader of the Commons that some of her proposed reforms are downgrading the Commons by reducing it to a four-days-a week chamber.

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See also:

12 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Profile: Madam Speaker
12 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Speaker Betty Boothroyd retires
12 Jul 00 | UK Politics
The role of the Speaker
08 Oct 99 | UK Politics
Madam Speaker celebrates 70
22 Mar 00 | UK Politics
The Speaker receives press damages
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