Janet Fookes

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The Baroness Fookes
Official portrait of Baroness Fookes crop 2, 2022.jpg
Official portrait, 2022
Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords
Assumed office
9 December 2002
Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons
Second Deputy Chair of Ways and Means
In office
27 April 1992 – 14 May 1997
SpeakerBetty Boothroyd
Preceded byBetty Boothroyd
Succeeded byMichael Lord
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
16 October 1997
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Plymouth Drake
In office
28 February 1974 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of Parliament
for Merton and Morden
In office
18 June 1970 – 8 February 1974
Preceded byHumphrey Atkins
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1936-02-21) 21 February 1936 (age 86)
Political partyConservative

Janet Evelyn Fookes, Baroness Fookes DBE DL (born 21 February 1936) is a British politician.[1] 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 to 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, and presently is a Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords.


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

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. 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, after 27 years as an MP: as she humorously put it, "longer than a life sentence".[2]

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). She is an Ambassador for unemployment charity, Tomorrow's People Trust.


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.


Coat of arms of Janet Fookes
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Lozenge of the Baroness Fookes.png
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")
Order of the British Empire circlet (Appointed DBE 1989)


  1. ^ "Miss Janet Fookes (Hansard)". api.parliament.uk. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  2. ^ https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1997/mar/20/standing-orders-revision#S6CV0292P0_19970320_HOC_223
  3. ^ "No. 54913". The London Gazette. 7 October 1997. p. 11279.
  4. ^ "No. 51578". The London Gazette. 31 December 1988. p. 7.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Merton and Morden
1970 – Feb 1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Plymouth Drake
Feb 1974 – 1997