Glenda Jackson awarded Wirral’s highest honour

Wirral Council has given the late Glenda Jackson the borough’s highest honour.

Glenda Jackson, an Oscar-winning actress and Labour MP for 23 years, died peacefully following a brief illness on 15 June 2023 at the age of 87. The star was born in Birkenhead and her family later moved to Hoylake in west Wirral as a child.

At a meeting of all councillors on 9 October, Wirral Council unanimously gave the late actress the title of the Freedom of the Borough posthumously, the highest honour it can give. This was following a unanimous recommendation by the council’s regulatory committee.

Other recipients of the award include the late Paul O’Grady, the 97 victims of the Hillsborough disaster, and Baron Frank Field of Birkenhead.

Jackson scooped a best actress Oscar in 1970 for Women In Love and again three years later for A Touch Of Class. She later left acting temporarily to serve as the MP for Hampstead and Highgate from 1992 to 2015 and served in Tony Blair’s government between 1997 and 1999.

After standing down in 2015 as MP, she returned to acting winning a Bafta for best actress in 2019 for her role in Elizabeth Is Missing, which followed the story of a woman suffering from dementia.

Following her death, tributes came in across the political and acting worlds. At the meeting on 9 October, Wirral council leader Paul Stuart paid tribute to the late actress, adding, “Many people, myself included, have been inspired by her success story.”

Conservative group leader Cllr Jeff Green said it was “incredible to think she was born just around the corner” praising a career from “Birkenhead to Hollywood Boulevard.”

The Freedom award goes back to early medieval times and is given to “persons of distinction and any persons who have rendered eminent services to the Borough”.

Image: Glenda Jackson (public domain)

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