A great life remembered: Baroness Young 1926-2002

Baroness Young, a “formidable campaigner” who worked tirelessly in the House of Lords to champion Christian values, died on this day ten years ago.

Lady Young fought moves by her own Conservative Party to liberalise divorce laws and opposed attempts from Labour to remove a bar on the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

She was respected by political opponents and supporters alike and won awards for her parliamentary work from The Spectator magazine and Channel 4.

Inspirational

Speaking on the tenth anniversary of her death, Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute said: “Baroness Young was an inspirational woman who had a big impact on those of us who were privileged to work alongside her.

“She combined firm Christian principle with a gracious personal manner and thorough professionalism and hard work.”

When Baroness Young died, the then Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith was among those to pay tribute to her. He said he hugely admired her “courage, conviction and tenacity”.

Integrity

An obituary in The Guardian at the time noted that the “wellspring of her moral activism was her belief in Christian marriage and family life, her concern for children’s welfare and her belief that as a Conservative she should stand up against what she saw as the slide towards an entirely secular society”.

The Daily Telegraph commented: “Lady Young was as polite to her opponents in private as she was in public”. The newspaper also remarked on the cross-party alliance which she built up in the House of Lords on the issue of the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

At the time of her death The Christian Institute’s Director – Colin Hart – praised her “tremendous Christian integrity and courage”.

Support

Mr Hart commented: “Lady Young was a formidable campaigner and a great parliamentarian. Not only did she stand up for family values in an increasingly secular political world, she did so in a way which was thoroughly Christian.”

And he added: “Lady Young used to say that she was a Christian because of the resurrection of Christ. During her illness she was sustained by her Christian faith and the love and support of her family.”

Lady Young, who was born 23 October 1926, married Geoffrey Young and they had three daughters. She died on 6 September 2002.

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