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Irene Mary Bewick Ward, Baroness Ward of North Tyneside, CH, DBE (23 February 1895–26 April 1980) was a British Conservative politician. She was a long-serving Member of Parliament.

Ward was educated privately and at Newcastle Church High School. She contested Morpeth in 1924 and 1929 without success and was elected to the House of Commons in 1931 for Wallsend, defeating Labour's Margaret Bondfield. A strong advocate for Tyneside industry and social conditions, she lost her seat heavily in the 1945 general election.

In 1950, Ward returned to Parliament for Tynemouth, again defeating a female incumbent, Grace Colman. An active backbencher, she introduced the bill that became the Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act, 1954. She promoted a Bill to pay pocket money to the elderly living in institutions. She also promoted the Nurses (Amendment) Act, 1961 and the Penalties for Drunkenness Act, 1962. She served on the influential Public Accounts Committee from 1964.

She is remembered in some quarters for an incident which caused amusement on both sides of the House when she threatened to "poke" the then Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Having received an evasive answer to a parliamentary question, she responded with the words: "I will poke the Prime Minister. I will poke him until I get a response."

Ward retired from the Commons in February 1974, having served a total of almost 38 years. She was the longest-serving woman MP (Mother of the House) until that record was broken by Gwyneth Dunwoody in 2007. Aged 79 at her retirement, Ward was the oldest-ever serving female Member of Parliament, the oldest-ever woman to be re-elected, and also the oldest sitting member at that time.

Life peerage

She was made a life peer as Baroness Ward of North Tyneside, of North Tyneside in the County of Tyne and Wear in 1975.

Honours

Ward was awarded the CBE in 1929 and the DBE in 1955, and was made a Companion of Honour in 1973.

Links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Margaret Bondfield
Member of Parliament for Wallsend
19311945
Succeeded by
John McKay
Preceded by
Grace Colman
Member of Parliament for Tynemouth
19501974
Succeeded by
Neville Trotter
Honorary titles
Preceded by
John Rankin
Oldest sitting member
1973 - 1974
Succeeded by
David Weitzman
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Irene Mary Bewick Ward, Baroness Ward of North Tyneside CH DBE (23 February 1895–26 April 1980) was a British Conservative politician. She was a long-serving Member of Parliament.

Ward was educated privately and at Newcastle Church High School. She contested Morpeth in 1924 and 1929 without success and was elected to the House of Commons in 1931 for Wallsend, defeating Labour's Margaret Bondfield. A strong advocate for Tyneside industry and social conditions, she lost her seat heavily in the 1945 general election.

In 1950, Ward returned to Parliament for Tynemouth, again defeating a female incumbent - Grace Colman. An active backbencher, she introduced the bill that became the Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954 and promoted a Bill to pay pocket money to the elderly living in institutions. She also promoted the Nurses (Amendment) Act 1961 and the Penalties for Drunkenness Act 1962. She served on the influential Public Accounts Committee from 1964.

Ward retired from the Commons in February 1974, having served a total of almost 38 years. She was the longest-serving woman MP, nicknamed the 'Mother of the House', until that record was broken by Gwyneth Dunwoody in 2007. At 79 years old at her retirement, Ward was the oldest-ever serving female Member of Parliament, the oldest-ever woman to be re-elected, and also the oldest sitting member at that time. She was made a life peer as Baroness Ward of North Tyneside, of North Tyneside in the County of Tyne and Wear in 1975.

Ward was awarded the CBE in 1929 and the DBE in 1955, and was made a Companion of Honour in 1973.

Styles and honours

  • Miss Irene Ward (1895–1931)
  • Irene Ward MP (1931–1929)
  • Irene Ward CBE MP (1929–1955)
  • Dame Irene Ward DBE MP (1955–1973)
  • Dame Irene Ward CH DBE MP (1973–1974)
  • Dame Irene Ward CH DBE (1974–1975)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Ward of North Tyneside CH DBE (1975–1980)


Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | Parliament of the United Kingdom |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Margaret Bondfield |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Member of Parliament for Wallsend
19311945 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
John McKay |- |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Grace Colman |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Member of Parliament for Tynemouth
1950–1974 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Neville Trotter |- |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #FFF157;" | Honorary titles

|- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
John Rankin |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Oldest sitting member
(nb not Father of the House)

1973 - 1974 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
David Weitzman |- Template:End box


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