Janet Fookes, Baroness Fookes

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Fookes
Baroness Fookes.jpg
Baroness Fookes, December 2011.
Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means
In office
27 April 1992 – 14 May 1997
Preceded by Betty Boothroyd
Succeeded by Michael Lord
Member of Parliament
for Plymouth Drake
Merton and Morden (1970-1974)
In office
18 June 1970 – 1 May 1997
Preceded by Humphrey Atkins
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1936-02-21) 21 February 1936 (age 79)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative

Janet Evelyn Fookes, Baroness Fookes, DBE, DL (born 21 February 1936), is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, she is a Life Peer in the House of Lords. She was previously a member of the House of Commons from 1970 from 1997, representing the constituencies of Merton and Morden (1970–74) and Plymouth Drake (1974–97). She was a Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons from 1992 to 1997.


Fookes was educated at Royal Holloway College, University of London.[1] She worked as a teacher[1] from 1958 to 1970. She served as a Councillor on Hastings Borough Council from 1960 to 1961 and 1963-70.[1]

Fookes was elected a Member of Parliament (MP) representing Merton and Morden in 1970. When this constituency was abolished, she was elected MP for Plymouth Drake in 1974.[1] Drake was never a safe seat, but Fookes managed to survive many strong challenges in each general election she fought, including winning by a majority of just 34 at the October 1974 general election. She served as one of three Deputy Speakers of the House of Commons from 1992 to 1997. She retired from the House of Commons in 1997.

Fookes served on the Council of the RSPCA 1975-92, and was its chair from 1979 to 1981. She was also a member of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (1987–97).[1] She is an Ambassador for unemployment charity, Tomorrow's People Trust.[2]

On 30 September 1997, she was made a Life Peer as Baroness Fookes, of Plymouth in the County of Devon.[3] She had previously been made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1989 New Year's Honours,[4] and became Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex in 2001.

Her red hair makes her very noticeable in the House of Lords. She is a regular contributor to debates.

Fookes is unmarried.[1]


Arms of Janet Fookes, Baroness Fookes
A Coronet of a Baroness
Sable four Towers in cross their bases conjoined Argent between four Fuschias in saltire Stamens outwards Or
On either side a Cat statant erect Sable gorged with a Naval Crown attached thereto a Chain reflexed over the back Or
Armaturam Dei Induite ("Put on the whole armour of God")


  1. ^ a b c d e f Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics
  2. ^ "Tomorrow's People honours Baroness Fookes". 30 November 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  3. ^ London Gazette no. 54913. p. 11279
  4. ^ London Gazette no. 51578. p.7

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Humphrey Atkins
Member for Merton and Morden
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member for Plymouth Drake