Former Tory MP reveals all in book

Former Batley and Spen MP Elizabeth Peacock launches her autobiography. (D535D346)
Former Batley and Spen MP Elizabeth Peacock launches her autobiography. (D535D346)

The challenges of being a woman in a man’s world will be revealed as a female MP bares all about her time in parliament.

Elizabeth Peacock served as MP for Batley and Spen for 14 years, one of the few women walking through Westminster’s hallowed halls.

Her autobiography, A Yorkshire Lass in the Court of Thatcher, promises a candid, honest and funny account of her time as an MP.

Mrs Peacock sat on the Conservative benches from 1983 to 1997, during the premierships of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and became known for her no-nonsense approach.

Heavily involved in the miners’ strike of the 1980s, the outspoken MP did not always toe the party line and was dedicated to serving her constituents.

She voted against the government under both Thatcher and Major.

And her outspoken views on the IRA led to an unsuccessful but frightening attack on her car while parked outside her home.

The autobiography reveals what it was like to work at Westminster during those turbulent years.

The book, from publisher Pen and Sword Books, promises frank assessments of the men and women Mrs Peacock worked with and an account of her political endurance during the most turbulent years of the Thatcher government.

Mrs Peacock led the way for women in Westminster, making her mark in a male-dominated environment.

She was the first female MP to take part in the Lords v Commons charity motor race at the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

She lost her seat to Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood in the 1997 general election but kept her close links with Westminster, and founded the Association of Former Members of Parliament, of which she is still vice chairwoman.

And in 2009, she was the second woman ever to be installed as the master of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen.

Mrs Peacock celebrated her book at a special launch event at Healds Hall Hotel, Liversedge, on Wednesday.