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Composition of Tynwald

Women in Tynwald

House of Keys

Women have been able to stand for election to the House of Keys since 1919, when universal adult suffrage was introduced.
The first woman to be elected was Mrs Marion Shimmin at a by-election in 1933 caused by the death of her husband Christopher. Mrs Shimmin was elected unopposed.
Ten women were elected to the Keys at the 2021 election.  This is the highest number of women MHKs at any one time. 

Legislative Council

Women have been able to stand for election to the Legislative Council since 1961. 
Betty Hanson, a former MHK, was the first woman to be elected to the Legislative Council in 1982. From then until 2018, three other women served as MLCs: Clare Christian from 1993 to 2011, Pamela Crowe from 2003 to 2008, and Jane Poole-Wilson from 2017 to 2018. Mrs Poole-Wilson was the first woman MLC who had not previously been an MHK.
Five women were elected to the Council in 2018. This is the highest number of women MLCs at any one time. 

Presiding Officers

​Name Office ​Term of Office
​Hazel Hannan MHK Deputy Speaker of the ​House of Keys ​ 2004-2006
​Clare Christian MLC ​President of Tynwald ​2011-2016
​Daphne Caine MHK ​Deputy Speaker of the House of Keys ​2021-date

Chairs of Parliamentary Committees

In 2011, the parliamentary committee system was reformed with the introduction of the Policy Review Committees.  Since then, the following women have been elected to chair Standing Committees:
​Name ​Committee ​Term of Office
Brenda Cannell MHK​ ​Social Affairs Policy Review Committee ​2011-2015
​Jane Poole-Wilson MLC ​Constitutional, Legal Affairs and Justice Committee ​2017-2018, 2018-2021
​Julie Edge MHK ​Social Affairs Policy Review Committee ​2020-2021
​Clare Barber MHK ​Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee ​2020-2021
​Tanya August-Hanson MLC ​Constitutional, Legal Affairs and Justice Committee ​2021-date
​Claire Christian MHK ​Economic Policy Review Committee ​2021-date
​Ann Corlett MHK ​Social Affairs Policy Review Committee ​2021-date
Daphne Caine MHK​ ​Vice-Chair of the Public Accounts Committee ​​2021-date


The ministerial system was introduced in 1986.  The following women have served as Ministers since then:
​Name ​Department ​Term of Office
​Hazel Hannan MHK ​Education ​1991-1995
​Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry ​1995-1999
​Clare Christian MLC ​Health and Social Security ​1996-2004
​Pamela Crowe MHK/MLC ​Local Government and the Environment ​2002-2004
​Anne Craine MHK ​ ​Education ​2006-2010
​Treasury ​2010-2011
​Kate Costain MHK ​Health and Social Care ​2016-2018
​Clare Barber MHK ​Environment, Food and Agriculture ​2021-date
​Julie Edge MHK ​Education, Sport and Culture ​2021-date
​Kate Lord-Brennan MHK ​Cabinet Office ​2021-date
​Jane Poole-Wilson MHK ​Justice and Home Affairs ​​2021-date


Click on the names of the Members below to find out more about the women who have served as MHKs and MLCs. Members are listed chronologically, in the order in which they were sworn into office.   

​Member​ ​Chamber​ ​​Constituency ​Term of Office
​​Marion Shimmin ​House of Keys ​Peel ​1933-1942
​Annie Bridson ​House of Keys Garff ​1951-1956
​Jean Thornton-Duesbury ​House of Keys Garff ​1966-1976
​Katharine Cowin ​House of Keys ​East Douglas ​1971-1976
​Elizabeth (Elspeth) Quayle ​House of Keys ​Castletown ​1971-1981
Betty Hanson

​House of Keys

Legislative Council

West Douglas


MLC: 1982-1988

Clare Christian

​House of Keys

Legislative Council



MLC: 1993-2016

President of Tynwald: 2011-2016

​Hazel Hannan ​House of Keys ​Peel ​1986-2006
​Julia Delaney ​​House of Keys ​Douglas North ​1986-1991
​Brenda Cannell ​​House of Keys ​Douglas East ​1996-2015 (resigned)
​Pamela Crowe

​House of Keys

Legislative Council



MLC: 2003-2008

​Anne Craine ​​House of Keys Ramsey ​2003-2011
Kate Costain ​​House of Keys Douglas South ​2011-2020 (resigned)
​Ann Corlett ​House of Keys ​Douglas Central ​2016-2021, 2021-date
Clare Barber (nee Bettison) ​​House of Keys ​Douglas East ​2016-2021, 2021-date
​Daphne Caine ​House of Keys Garff ​2016-2021, 2021-date
Julie Marie Edge ​​House of Keys ​Onchan ​2016-2021, 2021-date
​Jane Poole-Wilson Legislative Council
House of Keys
MLC: ​2017-2021
MHK: 2021-date
​Marlene Maska ​Legislative Council ​n/a ​2018-date
​Tanya August-Hanson ​Legislative Council ​n/a ​2018-date
Kate Lord-Brennan ​Legislative Council
House of Keys
Glenfaba and Peel
MLC: ​2018-2021
MHK: 2021-date
​Kerry Sharpe ​Legislative Council ​n/a ​2018-date
Claire Christian ​House of Keys ​Douglas South ​2020-2021, 2021-date
​Joney Faragher House of Keys​ ​Douglas East ​2021-date
Sarah Maltby ​House of Keys ​Douglas South ​2021-date
​Michelle Haywood​ ​House of Keys ​Rushen ​2021-date
Read more about the changes in legislation that allowed women to stand for election: Votes for Women
Read more about the changes in legislation that allowed women to Vote in an election: Votes for Women