First Woman to Chair the Oxford University Labour Club
May 2011, The Dining Hall, Somerville College, Oxford.
b.1930, Chelsea, London
Politician and academic, in 1950, aged 20 Shirley Williams became the first woman to chair the Oxford University Labour Club (founded in 1919). Williams was originally a labour MP, a Cabinet Minister and one of the ‘Gang of Pour’ rebels who founded the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981. In 1993 Baron Williams became a life peer and served as the House of Lords Liberal Democrat Leader from 2001 to 2004. In 1960 she became the First Woman Secretary of the Fabian Society and was appointed Professor Emeritus of Elective Politics at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.