LEADING judge Karen Ramagge Prescott will become the first woman Speaker in history of Gibraltar’s Parliament after Melvyn Farrell retired.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo thanked Farrell for being ‘an exemplary servant of the people of Gibraltar’ after the former Speaker decided to step down from the post.
Picardo said Ramagge Prescott had ‘demonstrated her ability to deal with complex legal and factual issues’ as a Supreme Court judge for 14 years.
Leader of the Opposition Keith Azopardi said the appointment had his party’s ‘full support’ after discussing it with the Chief Minister.
Picardo said he had asked Farrell to continue in the post but he said he wanted to step down instead.
“He has been selfless in his dedication to Gibraltar and its people,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
“This will no doubt be recognised by all who have had the benefit of serving with him and especially those of us who were fellow Members of the last Parliament alongside him.”
And Picardo said he was ‘particularly delighted’ that new speaker Ramagge Prescott will take over the job as more women were in parliament than ever before.
Both the GSLP/Liberal coalition and the GSD have two new women each in their ranks after the October 12 election.
“This will mean that for the first time in our nation’s history the total number of women in the Gibraltar Parliament moves forward considerably.
But he conceded that this number was ‘not yet in full proportionate representation of our population’.
Once Ramagge Prescott gives in her retirement she will take over as Speaker when Parliament opens on November 10.