On April 12th it was announced that Baroness Shirley Williams died aged 90. The Liberal Democrats announced the news, writing:
“On behalf of her family, it is with great sadness that we announce that Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, died peacefully in the early hours of this morning.”
Shirley Williams’ career in politics spanned more than 50 years, after entering Parliament as the Labour MP for Hitchin in 1964.
Shirley Williams dies aged 90
On April 12th, the Liberal Democrats announced the death of Baroness Shirley Williams on behalf of her family. She died peacefully in the early hours of this morning.
Sir Edward Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:
“Political life will be poorer without her intellect, wisdom and generosity. Shirley had a limitless empathy only too rare in politics today; she connected with people, cared about their lives and saw politics as a crucial tool to change lives for the better.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Shirley as “a kind and thoughtful member of the once radical centre left.”
He said: “Even when we disagreed – as we often did – she had the gift of sounding so completely reasonable at all times. I spent many happy hours sparring with her on Question Time. She will be much missed.”
Who was Shirley Williams’ mother Vera Brittain?
Shirley Williams’ mother, Vera Brittain was a English Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse, writer, feminist, socialist, and pacifist.
Vera Brittain is most known for her 1933 novel, Testament of Youth, which detailed her experiences during World War One and her move towards pacifism following the deaths of her loved ones.
Shirley Williams, her daughter, was only three years old when the book was published. It went on to sell 120,000 copies over the next six years.
In 2014, a film adaptation of Testament of Youth was released, starring Alicia Vikander as Vera Brittain. Shirley was closely consulted during the filming, and commented that it is “an exceedingly rich film.”
Speaking about her mother in 2015, Shirley Williams told The Guardian:
“My mother was an iconic figure for me because I could see what she stood for. She was a pacifist who was more of an example than an instructor. She didn’t go on about moral values, but she had them all right.”
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