Former Commons speaker Betty Boothroyd paid tribute yesterday to another legendary parliamentarian, Bessie Braddock, by unveiling a blue plaque at her former home in her honour.

As Labour MP for Liverpool Exchange from 1945 until her death in 1970, Mrs Braddock was the scourge of the Commons who turned down a position in Harold Wilson's government to champion the rights of workers in the city.

Miss Boothroyd, unveiling the English Heritage plaque at Zig Zag Road, West Derby, Liverpool, said Mrs Braddock was a stalwart of the Labour movement and a great fighter for ordinary people.

She added: ''Bessie was a woman of two firsts.

''She was the first Labour woman to be elected as an MP for Liverpool and the first woman to be suspended from the House of Commons for bad language, which, of course, I know all about.''

Born in 1899 to trade union organiser and suffragette May ''Ma'' Bamber, Bessie married fellow left-wing activist Jack Braddock in 1922 before both became Labour members of Liverpool's city council in 1929 and 1930.

The couple dominated the city's politics during the 1950s and 1960s, with Mr Braddock the council leader until his death in 1963 and his wife the rebel-rousing back bench MP.

Described by Sylvia Pankhurst as the ''finest fighting platform speaker in the country'' Mrs Braddock argued passionately for better housing, education, welfare services and a strong NHS.

The couple never had children but lived in the three-bedroomed house from 1945 with Mrs Braddock's brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Enid Bamber, their daughter, Mary, and grandson, Simon.

Mary Bamber-Sharp, who was at the unveiling, said it was a great honour for the family.

The plaque follows similar city honours for Meccano inventor Frank Hornby and engineer John Brodie in July. A plaque is to be unveiled at John Lennon's childhood home next month.