Jean Barker, Baroness Trumpington DCVO, PC

“If you want news, listen to the radio; if you want sex, read the newspapers” is amongst the many classic quotes from this Conservative peer. A land girl, a Bletchley Park codebreaker, Mayor of Cambridge, an agriculture minister, and now a Baroness, Trumpington famously stuck two fingers up at Lord King of Bridgwater after he called her “pretty old” during a debate. Of the reaction to that, she commented: “It was entirely between him and me – I thought. I wasn’t conscious of there being television [cameras there]… His family says he is famous now”. Of getting older, she added: “Other people’s opinions matter less – unless they’re medical”. On Desert Island Discs in 1990 she chose the Crown Jewels as her luxury item as she said it would maximise her chances of being rescued. A most practical lady and a true national treasure.

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