A Teddington native who is currently the youngest member of the House of Lords gave her maiden speech to the Lords in which she called for the introduction of 'proxy voting' for women who have become new mums.

Baroness Joanna Penn, who is also a Conservative party member, became a peer in October 2019, at the of 34.

Formerly a Deputy Chief of Staff to Theresa May, Baroness Penn grew up in Teddington with her parents and older sister.

When speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Penn said: "Another common thread across my career has been the presence of wonderful female role models.

"First and last among them was my boss in No. 10, Theresa May - whose advice to many young women wanting to make a difference was - always be yourself, do things your own way, and never give up.

"I take a moment to congratulate my noble friend Lady Bertin on the arrival of baby Edward eight weeks ago.

"She may no longer be the baby of the House, but she will always hold the record of being the first lady Peer to have had a baby while being a Member of this House and, as thoughts have turned in recent weeks to potential reforms to this House, I am sure it will want to consider the introduction of proxy voting for new parents, as has been done in the House of Commons."

Her maiden speech was part of a debate which focused on defence, diplomacy and developments policy in building a safer, fairer and greener world.

Before politics Baroness Penn attended Waldegrave Secondary School and Richmond College in Twickenham.

And before becoming the House of Lords youngest peer - Baroness Penn, worked alongside Baroness Lady Featherstone in the coalition Government to launch 'same-sex' marriages, brought changes to the energy price cap and helped with the NHS spending settlement.

She also worked with African Governments - particularly Malawi, where she worked for the Tony Blair African Governance Initiative and in Sierra Leone to help to get the Ebola outbreak under control.

Now that she has become a peer in the House of Lords, Baroness Penn says that she is looking forward to helping to contribute to changing the Mental Health Act following a review of it that was produced by Sir Simon Wessely.

And, she will continue to support the Domestic Abuse Bill which she describes as a landmark and the culmination of years of work that has been carried out by the Conservative Government and other organisations across the UK.