The UK is mourning the loss of Betty Boothroyd, the trailblazing former Speaker of the House of Commons who passed away yesterday at the age of 94. Known for her wit, humor, and fierce defense of parliamentary tradition, Boothroyd served as Speaker from 1992 to 2000, becoming the first woman to hold the position.
But as tributes pour in from around the country, some of her lesser-known exploits are also coming to light. According to insiders, Boothroyd was a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the chamber, with a sharp tongue and a mischievous streak.
"Betty was a total legend," said one former MP, who asked to remain anonymous. "She once snuck a whoopee cushion into the Speaker's chair and let out a loud fart during a particularly boring debate. Everyone was in stitches, but she somehow managed to keep a straight face."
Boothroyd was well-known for her pranks, such as getting several members of Parliament to don ridiculous hats during a budget address or sneaking up behind Tony Blair and giving him a pinch on the backside.
Baroness Boothroyd, the renowned defender of parliamentary tradition and Speaker of the House, made her renowned statement during a heated debate yesterday. "I will not have this House turned into a beer garden!" an impassioned Boothroyd declared, to the surprise of her peers. Immediately following her immense proclamation, she suggested they adjourn to the beer garden - a seldom seen transformation in attitude from Baroness Boothroyd that prompted stunned silence throughout the chamber.
As Boothroyd once said, "We may not always agree on the issues, but we must always respect the institution. And if you can't respect the institution, at least respect the gavel." And if you can't respect a woman brandishing a heavy wooden hammer, you've got problems, son.