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Patricia Elizabeth Lady Rawlings, 66, who was created a life peer in 1994, spent much of her career as a director of the California Dress Company but turned to politics in the 1980s. A Conservative Party member, she served as an MEP for Essex South West from 1989-94, was opposition spokesperson for Culture Media and Sport from 1997-98 and is currently Opposition spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and International Development.

“As you can see, she is admirably equipped to become our president,” said BADA chairman Charles Truman in a letter to members last week. BADA’s annual general meeting will be held on July 14 when members will have the opportunity to bid farewell to Lord Brooke and welcome his replacement.