Elaine Kellett-Bowman

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Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman

Member of Parliament
for Lancaster
In office
18 June 1970 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byStanley Henig
Succeeded byConstituency abolished, see Lancaster and Wyre
Member of the European Parliament
for Cumbria
In office
7 June 1979 – 14 June 1984
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded bySheila Faith for Cumbria and Lancashire North
Personal details
Mary Elaine Kay

(1923-07-08)8 July 1923
Died4 March 2014(2014-03-04) (aged 90)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Charles Norman Kellett
(1945–1959; his death)
Edward Bowman
Children4 (to Charles Norman Kellett)

Dame Mary Elaine Kellett-Bowman, DBE (8 July 1923 – 4 March 2014)[1] was a British Conservative politician, serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Lancaster for 27 years from 1970 to 1997.

Life and career[edit]

Born Mary Elaine Kay to Walter and Edith (née Leather) Kay, she was educated at The Mount School, York, St Anne's College, Oxford, and Barnett House, Oxford, and became a barrister, called to the bar by Middle Temple in 1964. She served as a councillor on Denbigh Borough Council, 1952–55, and the London Borough of Camden, 1968–74. She was also a governor of Culford School, 1963–2003.

As Mary Kellett, she contested Nelson and Colne in 1955, South West Norfolk twice in 1959 (including a by-election), and Buckingham in 1964 and 1966. She was MP for Lancaster from 1970 until her retirement in 1997. She also served as a Member of the European Parliament in the British delegation from 1975, and was then elected for Cumbria in 1979. She remained an MEP until 1984, when she stepped down in order to concentrate on her seat in the British Parliament.[1]

Capital Gay arson attack[edit]

In 1987, the paper Capital Gay's offices were targeted in an arson attack. Tony Banks said "On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I heard the honourable Member for Lancaster (Kellett-Bowman) say that it was quite right that Capital Gay should have been fire—", at which point he was interrupted by a point of order.[2] Kellett-Bowman responded, "I am quite prepared to affirm that it is quite right that there should be an intolerance of evil."[2][3]

Personal life[edit]

She had four children with her first husband, Charles Norman Kellett, but was widowed in December 1959; her husband died in a car accident in which she suffered head injuries and memory loss.[1]

She married Edward Bowman in June 1971; the couple served alongside each other on Camden Borough Council and as Members of the European Parliament; both took the shared surname of Kellett-Bowman.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman". The Daily Telegraph. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b House of Commons debate December 15 1987, Hansard, vol 124 cc987-1038 Access date: 6 December 2014
  3. ^ Andrew Pierce "Cheers ring out as David Cameron lays Tory history of homophobia to rest", Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2009


  • Times Guide to the House of Commons, Times Newspapers Ltd, 1955, 1966, 1992 and 1997 editions.
  • Who's Who, 2007 edition
  • Wikipedia article Capital Gay

External links[edit]

European Parliament
New constituency Member of the European Parliament for Cumbria
Constituency abolished
see Cumbria and Lancashire North
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Stanley Henig
Member of Parliament for Lancaster
Constituency abolished
see Lancaster and Wyre