- Categories: 21st Century
Dorothy Thornhill, Baroness Thornhill, MBE (born 26 May 1955) is the first directly elected mayor of Watford, Hertfordshire, England. She was the Liberal Democrats’ first directly elected mayor, and was also the first female directly elected mayor in the United Kingdom.
In May 2002, Dorothy Thornhill became the first elected mayor of Watford Borough with a majority of over 8000 after counting second choice votes.
Thornhill increased her majority when she was re-elected as mayor in May 2006, gaining more than 50% of the vote in the first round, with a majority of over 7000. She was was ranked the 41st most influential Liberal Democrat in the country, in an article by the Daily Telegraph.
At a Liberal Democrat ‘Town Hall’ meeting in Watford, February 2010, the leader of the party, Nick Clegg was asked whether he felt the Mayor was right to earn the same wage as a Member of Parliament whether she was “value for money”, and in response he named her “one of the best mayors in this country”. Thornhill was re-elected as Mayor of Watford in May 2010, for a third term in office, with a majority of 11,921, becoming the second directly elected mayor in the UK to do so.
She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours.
On 21 October 2015, she was created a life peer as Baroness Thornhill, of Watford in the County of Hertfordshire