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Edith Summerskill (1901-1980)

Edith Summerskill, a Labour life peer from 1961, ran a medical practice jointly with her husband from 1928 to 1943 and was an MP between 1938 and 1960.

Her interests included homosexual law reform, the legalisation of abortion and the right of women to equal opportunities and meaningful careers.

The fifth women life peer to be appointed, she had already spoken from the despatch box in the Lords during the Second World War when, after the Commons was bombed, MPs occupied the Lords' chamber.