TRIBUTES have been paid to Baroness Trumpington — who became famous for making a V-sign in the House of Lords — after her death at the age of 96.
The wartime Land Girl and Bletchley Park codebreaker served as an agriculture minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major and became a Tory peer in 1980.
A video of the baroness flipping the gesture to Lord King after he made a quip about her age went viral in 2011. Her notoriety landed her a spot as a panellist on Have I Got News For You at the age of 90, where she joked about enjoying a cigar after sex.
She was an admirer of Mrs Thatcher, who she ‘loved dearly’, but they had heated rows. A fellow diner thought they would come to blows during a 1980s bust-up. ‘This poor man thought we were going to hit each other, and he just had to sit in the middle,’ the baroness (pictured) said in 2014.
As a junior health minister under Mrs Thatcher in 1985 she proposed legalising brothels, but the plan was quickly dropped.
She was born Jean Campbell-Harris, daughter of an American heiress and a Bengal Lancer. During the war she worked as a Land Girl on Liberal prime minister David Lloyd George’s farm in Surrey before using her French and German as a cipher clerk translating Nazi naval signals at Bletchley Park.
In the 1960s she was elected as a councillor in the Trumpington ward of Cambridge, eventually becoming mayor. She retired from the Lords last year, after having served for seven years as a whip.
Prime minister Theresa May said of her: ‘She was a formidable figure and her kindness and humour will be sorely missed.’
Development secretary Penny Mordaunt tweeted: ‘Socialite, mother, Bletchley Park code breaker, Baroness, Minister, trailblazer, heroine and an utter joy.’
Her son Adam said simply: ‘She had a bloody good innings.’