ONE OF the region’s best loved athletes has been named one of Britain’s most powerful women.

Paralympian gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson was one of 100 women named in Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Power List.

The list, which claims to identify the women who wield the most power in Britain, was headed by the Queen and also included Home Secretary Theresa May and the founders of Mumsnet - Justine Roberts and Carrie Longton – in its top ten. It also honoured North East comedian Sarah Millican.

Dame Tanni said she that she believed it was her work in the House of Lords – especially her involvement in the debate around benefit reform - that led to her being listed as someone with the power to shape society.

She described herself as “very pleased” to be included in a list that celebrated the success of women and said: “I think that through the ages, many women have helped to shape the way we live today, albeit years ago it was probably as the driving force behind a great man.

“I’ve never thought of myself as shaping society, however, I do feel that as a working peer, I have a responsibility to ensure that government policy is fair and equitable.”

She added: “In the past only 15 per cent of the entries on these type of lists were women. Maybe it’s time to start blowing our own trumpets a little and in doing so, provide more role models for young people.”