Bletchley Park Codebreaker Lady Trumpington Dies

Baroness Trumpington, a former Land Girl turned Lady, has died at the age of 96.

Lady Trumpington was known as one of Parliament's most colourful characters (Picture: PA).

Baroness Trumpington, a former Land Girl and Bletchley Park codebreaker famed for flicking two fingers up at a fellow Tory peer, has died at the age of 96.

Lady Trumpington only left the House of Lords, where she was celebrated as one of Parliament's most colourful characters, last year.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt wrote: "Deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved this incredible woman.

"Socialite, mother, Bletchley Park codebreaker, Baroness, Minister, trailblazer, heroine and an utter joy."

Her son Adam Barker, who announced her death which happened on Monday, said she had "a bloody good innings", as he tweeted: "My mother passed away this afternoon in her sleep."

Bletchley Park main building exterior
Bletchley Park, once the top-secret home of the World War Two codebreakers (Picture: PA).

Lady Trumpington spent 37 years as a Conservative peer and had spells as a minister and a government whip.

James Cleverly, an MP and deputy chairman of the Conservative party, tweeted:

"So sad to hear that code breaking, two finger wagging, Baroness Trumpington has passed away. Ma'am, we salute you."

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said her passing was "so sad... But what a life". He tweeted:

"Royal Navy, Bletchley Park code cracker, councillor, mayor, MP, Minister, UK Rep at UN, Baroness-in-Waiting to the Queen and contestant on 'Have I got News For You'!"

She shot to fame in 2011 when she was caught on camera in the Lords chamber flicking a V-sign at fellow Tory Lord King, former defence secretary, who had good-humouredly made some disobliging remark about her.

Lady Trumpington later said: "It was entirely between him and me - I thought. I wasn't conscious of there being television cameras there. I did that to his face. His family say he is famous now."

During the Second World War, she was a "Land Girl" for David Lloyd George before working in naval intelligence at the Bletchley Park codebreaking headquarters.

"I hated being a land girl," she said. "There were only old men there. The young men had joined up. And it was all apples - no animals."

Before entering Parliament, Lady Trumpington was a Cambridge councillor, rising to become mayor in 1971.

She took her seat in the Lords in 1980 and was a government whip and minister during several periods in the 1980s and 90s.

Born Jean Alys Campbell-Harris on 23 October 1922, she married Alan Barker after returning to England following a spell in the United States.