Margaret Thatcher
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1979%E2%80%931990)
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS, née Roberts is a British politician and the longest-serving (1979–1990) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century, and the only woman ever to have held the post. A Soviet journalist nicknamed her the "Iron Lady", which became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As prime minister, she implemented Conservative policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.
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Journalists Shouldn't Hold Trump To 'Special Standards,' Says Bloomberg Editor-In-Chief
Huffington Post - 24 days
LONDON ― John Micklethwait is the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News. Previously, he served as the editor-in-chief of The Economist. Micklethwait, who I spoke to recently in London, has an extraordinary platform of observation on what’s happening in the world. In the following interview, he gives his personal impression of Russian President Vladimir Putin and answers questions on topics ranging from the freedom of the press under the new Trump presidency to the implications of the new era on economic and international relations.  What do you think at Bloomberg about the new President Trump’s aggressive attitude towards journalists and the press? Do you think the freedom of the press is in danger? I think the freedom of the press is enshrined in American life and we should measure the new president in the same way as we did the last one: by what he says and does. If he produces “alternative facts” that are not actually facts, then we should ...
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Theresa May and Donald Trump bond over love for Thatcher and Reagan - The Guardian
Google News - 26 days
The Guardian Theresa May and Donald Trump bond over love for Thatcher and Reagan The Guardian Donald Trump and Theresa May bonded over their shared admiration for Margaret Thatcher as they lunched at the White House on Friday – and he hopes their relationship will become even closer than the famous political romance between the Iron Lady and ... Real reason why Donald Trump and Theresa May held hands is revealed: US president 'is frightened of STAIRS' Theresa May and the Government need to stand up to Donald TrumpThe Independent Theresa May must find the right balance with Donald TrumpFinancial Times BBC News -Daily Mail (blog) -Scotsman all 1,618 news articles »
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Reason Thatcher tried to ban raves revealed - Sky News
Google News - about 2 months
Scottish Daily Record Reason Thatcher tried to ban raves revealed Sky News Officials feared the rise in dance music culture - but were more worried about noise nuisance than the use of illegal drugs. 13:57, UK, Friday 30 December 2016. Ravers dancing in in a field, Tribal Dance rave M25 Orbital, East Grinstead, Image Caption ... Guards told to shoot intruders at Faslane after 1988 breachSTV News The Norfolk couple who challenged Margaret Thatcher over the poll taxNorfolk Eastern Daily Press Secret papers reveal Margaret Thatcher feared Germany's power and looked to Russia as an allyQuartz Belfast Newsletter -Daily Beast -Your Local Guardian -International Business Times UK all 74 news articles »
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Pop Star George Michael Dead At 53
Huffington Post - 2 months
UPDATE: Dec. 26 ― George Michael died of heart failure, according to his longtime manager Michael Lippman. PREVIOUSLY: LONDON, Dec 25 (Reuters) - British singer George Michael, who became one of the pop idols of the 1980s with Wham! and then forged a career as a successful solo artist with sometimes sexually provocative lyrics, died at his home in England on Sunday. He was 53. In the mid-1980s, “Wham! was one of the most successful pop duos ever, ahead even of Simon & Garfunkel, with singles like “”Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, “”Careless Whisper”, ““Last Christmas” and ““The Edge of Heaven”. “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” his publicist said in a statement. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage,” the statement said. British police said Michael’s death ...
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A New Political Force and the Future of the Democratic Party
Huffington Post - 3 months
A new political force in America was unleashed on Tuesday and how the Democratic Party reacts to it could determine its future as a major party. The working class has spoken and any party or politician going forward better listen or they will be tossed out--Donald Trump the next time too. This election has struck what should be a fatal blow to the Clintons' Democratic Leadership Council movement. Bill Clinton moved the Democratic Party to the center-right at about the same time that Tony Blair did with the British Labour Party. Both cut their traditional ties to labor unions in the 1990s to embrace the economic neoliberalism of their 1980s predecessors Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: welfare reform, deregulation, privatization and free trade. The effect on workers has been devastating. Millions have been thrust out of a middle-class lifestyle. They have seen their plants close and jobs shipped to cheap labor markets overseas. They've seen the economy shift from pro ...
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The Walking Dead's Tovah Feldshuh on Leadership & Legacy
Huffington Post - 3 months
Tovah Feldshuh Leadership matters more than ever now. And in our current atmosphere of national divisiveness, it's tempting to search elsewhere for leaders, until we're reminded that we must first find the champion within ourselves. Tovah Feldshuh is one of those leaders that inspires us to look inward. An intellectual, activist, and award-winning performing artist, she defiantly states "Live While Living." Among her many honors and accolades, she has received the Israel Peace Medal, an Honorary Doctorate from Yeshiva, the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award and, this past year, the Algemeiner's Voice for Humanity Award. Her prolific career and numerous accomplishments led to her having dinner with Margaret Thatcher and even a meeting with the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Most people know Tovah Feldshuh from her portrayal of congresswoman Deanna Monroe on AMC's top-rated show The Walking Dead, who faced down complacency in the form of a zombie apocalypse, bu ...
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Fillon's economic shock therapy for France risks side effects
Yahoo News - 3 months
By Leigh Thomas PARIS (Reuters) - On paper, French presidential favorite Francois Fillon's free-market plans to cut business taxes, relax labor laws and shrink the public sector should give corporate France a shot in the arm and boost economic growth. Fillon, an admirer of late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is the center-right candidate for the presidential election in May, when he will go up against far-right leader Marine Le Pen and a yet-to-be selected Socialist opponent. If victorious, he would have a popular mandate to enact his free-market reforms following deep disenchantment with Socialist President Francois Hollande's failure to fulfill pledges to slash high unemployment of about 10 percent and deliver growth.
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François Fillon wins French presidential primary - The Globe and Mail
Google News - 3 months François Fillon wins French presidential primary The Globe and Mail François Fillon's plan to remake France in the image of Margaret Thatcher moved a step closer to reality on Sunday, after the former French prime minister won a resounding victory in the Republican Party primary. Mr. Fillon, a devout Catholic who loves ... Fillon wins France's conservative presidential primary680 News Penelope Clarke could be France's First Lady thanks to husband who idolises ThatcherDaily Mail France presidential race: What now for the left and far-right?BBC News New York Times -NDTV -Wall Street Journal all 616 news articles »
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Francois Fillon Scores Huge Win In French Conservative Presidential Primaries
Huffington Post - 3 months
PARIS, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Francois Fillon, a socially conservative free-marketeer, won France’s center-right presidential primaries on Sunday, setting up a likely showdown next year with far-right leader Marine Le Pen that the pollsters expect him to win. With votes from four-fifths of 10,228 polling stations counted, Fillon, who went into Sunday’s second-round run-off as firm favorite, had won over 67 percent of the vote in a head-to-head battle with another ex-prime minister, Alain Juppe. “I must now convince the whole country our project is the only one that can lift us up,” a visibly moved Fillon said at his campaign headquarters after Juppe conceded defeat. All eyes now turn to the ruling Socialist party and to whether the deeply unpopular President Francois Hollande will decide to run for the left-wing ticket in his party’s primaries in January, amid signs that his prime minister, Manuel Valls, is considering a bid of his own. France, the euro zone’s second largest ...
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Tommy Hilfiger Thinks Designers Should Be 'Proud' To Dress Melania Trump
Huffington Post - 3 months
Throughout history, designers have used fashion to make political statements. Karl Lagerfeld staged a feminist protest for the 2014 Chanel show at Paris Fashion Week. Katherine Hamnet famously met Margaret Thatcher in a protest T-shirt, while Vivienne Westwood and Pyer Moss made bold statements through clothing on climate change and police brutality, respectively. This past election cycle alone, prominent members of the fashion community literally wore political support on their sleeves.   It appears, however, that Tommy Hilfiger doesn’t believe that designers should even get “political.” At least when it comes to dressing Melania Trump. According to Women’s Wear Daily, Hilfiger responded to a question Monday about fellow designer Sophie Theallet’s recent vow to never to work with the incoming first lady due to “the rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign.” “I think Melania is a very beautiful woman and I think any designer ...
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Fillon, the man who might surprise in France's presidential race
Yahoo News - 3 months
French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon, who has made a surprise jump in opinion polls just before a party primary on Sunday, has the political instincts of a true conservative. "I want to give the country its liberty back!" Fillon told a rally on Friday, promising to do away with the 35-hour working week, drastically cut public spending and slash red tape in the health sector. An admirer of late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as Labour and Social Affairs Minister he faced down street protests in 2003 over his retirement pension age reforms.
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Disenfranchised people, enfranchised elites
Huffington Post - 3 months
Geoffroy Dolphin, Member of the St. Gallen Symposium's global Leaders of Tomorrow Community In 1956, C.W. Mills suggested that the fate of ordinary citizens was in the hands of a Triumvirat of elites which, because of shared interests and aligned objectives, were working together as one to rule the masses (Mills, 1956). Those elites, namely the military, political and corporate would deprive ordinary citizens from substantial exercise of power and reduce power delegation, the cornerstone of indirect (liberal) democracy, to a formal cosmetic arrangement. The current context of distrust and seemingly widening divide between elites and the broader citizenry makes such an argument hard to dismiss. Yet the complexities of today's world require a form of indirect democracy, which only thrives if the constituents trust their representatives or, in a more general way, if the masses trust the elites. Breaking this link is putting democracy at risk. Failing to restore it is sentencing it t ...
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Bridge of Words
Huffington Post - 4 months
By Esther Schor On the muggy July afternoon when I visited the Okopowa Street Cemetery, the dead Jews who'd slept on while the Nazis packed their descendants into cattle cars bound for Treblinka were still asleep. After hours tracking the contours of the Ghetto behind a detachment of Israeli soldiers, I was relieved to be among the lush ferns, rusted grilles, and mossy stones. Here and there, tipped and broken monuments had settled where they'd fallen among yellow wallflowers. In other sections, weeded, swept, and immaculately tended, huge monuments incised with Hebrew characters bore a heavy load of sculpted fruits, animals, priestly hands, and the tools of trades. The stones were cool to the touch, amid a musky odor of rotting leaves. Among the largest monuments in the cemetery—the baroque monument to the actor Ester Rachel Kamińska; the porphyry stone of writer I. L. Peretz; the ponderous granite tomb of Adam Czerniaków, who after pleading in vain for the lives of the Ghetto's ...
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Donald Trump Finds Worst Possible Character Witness To Dispute Assault Allegations
Huffington Post - 4 months
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, vowed on Friday that there was evidence to disprove the many claims of sexual improprieties against his ticket-mate, Donald Trump. Well, the Trump campaign made good on its promise, contributing yet another surreal twist to this already stupefying election season. At issue are the allegations of Jessica Leeds, who told The New York Times this week that Trump had “grabbed her breasts and attempted to reach up her skirt” more than three decades ago when she was seated next to him in first class on a cross-country flight to New York. “He was like an octopus,” Leeds told the Times. Now, as the New York Post’s Daniel Halper reports, a British man named Anthony Gilberthorpe has stepped forward to serve as an exculpatory witness: The man says he was sitting across from the accuser and contacted the Trump campaign because he was incensed by her account — which is at odds with what he witnessed. “I have only me ...
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Weekend Roundup: When Negotiating With Terrorists Works
Huffington Post - 5 months
Former U.S. President George W. Bush once said, “No nation can negotiate with terrorists, for there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.” Numerous leaders have made similar statements. And yet, democratic governments have negotiated with internationally designated terrorist groups, including with the Irish Republican Army, the Basque separatist group ETA and ― making history this week ― the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. On Monday, the Colombian government and the FARC signed a peace deal promising to end a 52-year war. The Colombian people will vote on the agreement Sunday and are expected to approve it. Both the FARC and the government committed human rights violations and inflicted terror for decades. Many are celebrating the deal as the long-overdue end of a conflict that has left about 220,000 people dead and more than 6 million displaced from their homes. Others are criticizing the deal as too soft on the rebels who, if they confe ...
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Margaret Thatcher
  • 2013
    In 2013, she died of another stroke in London at the age of 87.
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    Baroness Thatcher died on 8 April 2013, at the age of 87, after suffering a stroke.
    More Details Hide Details She had been staying at a suite in the Ritz Hotel in London since December 2012 after having difficulty with stairs at her Chester Square home in Belgravia. Reactions to the news of Thatcher's death were mixed in the UK, ranging from tributes lauding her as Britain's greatest-ever peacetime Prime Minister to public celebrations of her death and expressions of personalised vitriol. Details of Thatcher's funeral had been agreed with her in advance. She received a ceremonial funeral, including full military honours, with a church service at St Paul's Cathedral on 17 April. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, attended the funeral, the second time in the Queen's reign that she had attended the funeral of a former Prime Minister (the first being that of Winston Churchill in 1965). After the service at St Paul's Cathedral, Thatcher's body was cremated at Mortlake Crematorium, where her husband had been cremated. On 28 September a service for Thatcher was held in the All Saints Chapel of the Royal Hospital Chelsea's Margaret Thatcher Infirmary. In a private ceremony Thatcher's ashes were interred in the grounds of the hospital, next to those of her husband.
  • 2011
    On 31 July 2011, it was announced that her office in the House of Lords had been closed.
    More Details Hide Details Earlier that month, Thatcher had been named the most competent British Prime Minister of the past 30 years in an Ipsos MORI poll.
    On 4 July 2011, Thatcher was to attend a ceremony for the unveiling of a 10-foot statue to former US President Ronald Reagan, outside the American Embassy in London, but was unable to attend due to her frail health.
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  • 2009
    Thatcher returned to 10 Downing Street in late November 2009 for the unveiling of an official portrait by artist Richard Stone, an unusual honour for a living ex-Prime Minister.
    More Details Hide Details Stone had previously painted portraits of the Queen and the Queen Mother.
    In 2009 she was hospitalised again when she fell and broke her arm.
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  • 2008
    After collapsing at a House of Lords dinner, Thatcher was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital in central London on 7 March 2008 for tests.
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  • 2007
    The bronze statue stands opposite that of her political hero, Sir Winston Churchill, and was unveiled on 21 February 2007 with Thatcher in attendance; she made a brief speech in the members' lobby of the House of Commons, responding: "I might have preferred iron – but bronze will do...
    More Details Hide Details It won't rust." She was a public supporter of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism and the resulting Prague Process, and sent a public letter of support to its preceding conference.
    In February 2007, Thatcher became the first living British prime minister to be honoured with a statue in the Houses of Parliament.
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  • 2006
    In 2006, Thatcher attended the official Washington, D.C. memorial service to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2001 11 September attacks on the US.
    More Details Hide Details She was a guest of Vice President Dick Cheney, and met Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit.
  • 2005
    According to a later article in The Daily Telegraph, Thatcher's daughter Carol first revealed that her mother had dementia in 2005, saying that "Mum doesn't read much any more because of her memory loss...
    More Details Hide Details It's pointless. She can't remember the beginning of a sentence by the time she reaches the end." She later recounted how she was first struck by her mother's dementia when in conversation Thatcher confused the Falklands and Yugoslav conflicts; she recalled the pain of needing to tell her mother repeatedly that Denis Thatcher was dead.
    Thatcher celebrated her 80th birthday at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park, London, on 13 October 2005; guests included the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Alexandra and Tony Blair.
    More Details Hide Details Geoffrey Howe, by then Lord Howe of Aberavon, was also present, and said of his former leader: "Her real triumph was to have transformed not just one party but two, so that when Labour did eventually return, the great bulk of Thatcherism was accepted as irreversible."
    In early 2005 Thatcher criticised the way the decision to invade Iraq had been made two years previously.
    More Details Hide Details Although she still supported the intervention to topple Saddam Hussein, she said that as a scientist, she would always look for "facts, evidence and proof", before committing the armed forces.
  • 2004
    On 11 June 2004, Thatcher, against doctor's orders, attended the state funeral service for Ronald Reagan.
    More Details Hide Details She delivered her eulogy via videotape; in view of her health, the message had been pre-recorded several months earlier. Thatcher flew to California with the Reagan entourage, and attended the memorial service and interment ceremony for the president at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
    Despite this, she managed to prerecord a eulogy to Ronald Reagan prior to his death, which was broadcast at his funeral in 2004.
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  • 2003
    Sir Denis Thatcher died of pancreatic cancer on 26 June 2003 and was cremated on 3 July.
    More Details Hide Details She had paid tribute to him in The Downing Street Years, writing "Being Prime Minister is a lonely job. In a sense, it ought to be: you cannot lead from the crowd. But with Denis there I was never alone. What a man. What a husband. What a friend."
  • 2002
    In 2002, Thatcher encouraged President George W. Bush to aggressively tackle the "unfinished business" of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and praised Tony Blair for his "strong, bold leadership" in standing with Bush in the Iraq War.
    More Details Hide Details She broached the same subject in her Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World, which was published that year and dedicated to Ronald Reagan, writing that there would be no peace in the Middle East until Saddam Hussein was toppled. Her book also said that Israel must trade land for peace, and that the European Union (EU) was "fundamentally unreformable", "a classic utopian project, a monument to the vanity of intellectuals, a programme whose inevitable destiny is failure". She argued that Britain should renegotiate its terms of membership or else leave the EU and join the North American Free Trade Area. That same year, she suffered several small strokes and was advised by her doctors not to engage in further public speaking. On 23 March, she announced that on the advice of her doctors she would cancel all planned speaking engagements and accept no more.
  • 2001
    In the 2001 general election, Thatcher supported the Conservative general election campaign, as she had done in 1992 and 1997, and in the Conservative leadership election shortly after, she supported Iain Duncan Smith over Kenneth Clarke.
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  • 1999
    In 1999, she visited him while he was under house arrest near London.
    More Details Hide Details Pinochet was released in March 2000 on medical grounds by Home Secretary Jack Straw, without facing trial.
  • 1998
    In 1998, Thatcher called for the release of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet when Spain had him arrested and sought to try him for human rights violations.
    More Details Hide Details She cited the help he gave Britain during the Falklands War.
  • 1994
    After Tony Blair's election as Labour Party leader in 1994, Thatcher praised Blair in an interview as "probably the most formidable Labour leader since Hugh Gaitskell.
    More Details Hide Details I see a lot of socialism behind their front bench, but not in Mr Blair. I think he genuinely has moved".
    Thatcher always resisted rail privatisation and was said to have told Transport Secretary Nicholas Ridley "Railway privatisation will be the Waterloo of this government. Please never mention the railways to me again." Shortly before her resignation, she accepted the arguments for privatising British Rail, which her successor John Major implemented in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details The effect of privatising the railway is disputed, with large growth in passenger numbers and increasing efficiency matched by large public subsidy and concern about foreign companies running British railways. The privatisation of public assets was combined with financial deregulation in an attempt to fuel economic growth. Geoffrey Howe abolished Britain's exchange controls in 1979, allowing more capital to be invested in foreign markets, and the Big Bang of 1986 removed many restrictions on the London Stock Exchange. The Thatcher government encouraged growth in the finance and service sectors to compensate for Britain's ailing manufacturing industry. In 1980 and 1981, Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) prisoners in Northern Ireland's Maze Prison carried out hunger strikes in an effort to regain the status of political prisoners that had been removed in 1976 by the preceding Labour government.
  • 1992
    In August 1992, Thatcher called for NATO to stop the Serbian assault on Goražde and Sarajevo to end ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian War.
    More Details Hide Details She compared the situation in Bosnia to "the worst excesses of the Nazis", and warned that there could be a "holocaust". She had been an advocate of Croatian and Slovenian independence. In a 1991 interview for Croatian Radiotelevision, Thatcher had commented on the Yugoslav Wars; she was critical of Western governments for not recognising the breakaway republics of Croatia and Slovenia as independent states and for not supplying them with arms after the Serbian-led Yugoslav Army attacked. She made a series of speeches in the Lords criticising the Maastricht Treaty, describing it as "a treaty too far" and stated "I could never have signed this treaty". She cited A. V. Dicey when stating that as all three main parties were in favour of the treaty, the people should have their say in a referendum. Thatcher was honorary Chancellor of the College of William & Mary in Virginia (1993–2000) and also of the University of Buckingham (1992–99), the UK's first private university, which she had opened in 1975.
    In 1992, Thatcher was hired by the tobacco company Philip Morris as a "geopolitical consultant" for $250,000 per year and an annual contribution of $250,000 to her foundation.
    More Details Hide Details She also earned $50,000 for each speech she delivered.
  • 1991
    Thatcher was bestowed with the Grand Cross of the Order of Good Hope, which was, at that time, the highest existing South African award, in 1991, by President F. W. de Klerk.
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    In 1991, she and her husband Denis moved to a house in Chester Square, a residential garden square in central London's Belgravia district.
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  • 1990
    Within two weeks of leaving office in 1990, Thatcher was appointed a Member of the Order of Merit (OM), an order within the personal gift of the Queen.
    More Details Hide Details Her husband, Denis Thatcher, was made a Baronet at the same time. In the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher Day has been marked every 10 January since 1992, commemorating her visit in 1983. Thatcher Drive in Stanley is named for her, as is Thatcher Peninsula in South Georgia, where the task force troops first set foot on the Falklands. She became a member of the House of Lords in 1992 with a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire. She was appointed a Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (LG), the UK's highest order of chivalry, in 1995. She was a patron of The Heritage Foundation, which established the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom in 2005. Books by Thatcher Ministerial autobiographies
    On 1 November 1990, Geoffrey Howe, the last remaining member of Thatcher's original 1979 cabinet, resigned from his position as Deputy Prime Minister over her refusal to agree to a timetable for Britain to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
    More Details Hide Details In his resignation speech on 13 November, Howe commented on Thatcher's European stance: "It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease only for them to find the moment that the first balls are bowled that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain." His resignation was fatal to Thatcher's premiership. The next day, Michael Heseltine mounted a challenge for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Opinion polls had indicated that he would give the Conservatives a national lead over Labour. Although Thatcher won the first ballot with 204 to 152 votes and 16 abstentions, Heseltine had attracted sufficient support to force a second ballot. Under party rules, Thatcher not only needed to win a majority, but her margin over Heseltine had to be equivalent to 15% of the 372 Conservative MPs in order to win the leadership election outright; with 54.8% against 40.9% for Heseltine, she came up four votes short. Thatcher initially stated that she intended to "fight on and fight to win" the second ballot, but consultation with her Cabinet persuaded her to withdraw. After visiting the Queen, calling other world leaders, and making one final Commons speech, she left Downing Street in tears. She reportedly regarded her ousting as a betrayal.
    She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.
    More Details Hide Details After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the county of Lincolnshire, which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. After a series of small strokes in 2002, she was advised to withdraw from public speaking.
  • 1989
    Thatcher was challenged for the leadership of the Conservative Party by the little-known backbench MP Sir Anthony Meyer in the 1989 leadership election.
    More Details Hide Details Of the 374 Conservative MPs eligible to vote, 314 voted for Thatcher and 33 for Meyer. Her supporters in the party viewed the result as a success, and rejected suggestions that there was discontent within the party. During her premiership Thatcher had the second-lowest average approval rating, at 40%, of any post-war Prime Minister. Polls consistently showed that she was less popular than her party. A self-described conviction politician, Thatcher always insisted that she did not care about her poll ratings, pointing instead to her unbeaten election record. Opinion polls in September 1990 reported that Labour had established a 14% lead over the Conservatives, and by November the Conservatives had been trailing Labour for 18 months. These ratings, together with Thatcher's combative personality and willingness to override colleagues' opinions, contributed to discontent within the Conservative Party.
    During her talks with President George H. W. Bush, who had succeeded Reagan in 1989, she recommended intervention, and put pressure on Bush to deploy troops in the Middle East to drive the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait.
    More Details Hide Details Bush was apprehensive about the plan, prompting Thatcher to remark to him during a telephone conversation that "This was no time to go wobbly!" Thatcher's government provided military forces to the international coalition in the build-up to the Gulf War, but she had resigned by the time hostilities began on 17 January 1991.
  • 1988
    Thatcher was one of the first Western leaders to respond warmly to reformist Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Following Reagan–Gorbachev summit meetings and reforms enacted by Gorbachev in the USSR, she declared in November 1988 that "We're not in a Cold War now", but rather in a "new relationship much wider than the Cold War ever was".
    More Details Hide Details She went on a state visit to the Soviet Union in 1984 and met with Gorbachev and Nikolai Ryzhkov, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers. Thatcher was initially opposed to German reunification, telling Gorbachev that it "would lead to a change to postwar borders, and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security". She expressed concern that a united Germany would align itself more closely with the Soviet Union and move away from NATO.
    During a 1988 speech in Bruges she outlined her opposition to proposals from the European Community (EC), forerunner of the European Union, for a federal structure and increased centralisation of decision making.
    More Details Hide Details For his part, Enoch Powell commented that Thatcher's "Bruges Speech" marked, in his view, the 'end of the Community'. Thatcher and her party had supported British membership of the EC in the 1975 national referendum, but she believed that the role of the organisation should be limited to ensuring free trade and effective competition, and feared that the EC's approach was at odds with her views on smaller government and deregulation; in 1988, she remarked, "We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels". Thatcher was firmly opposed to the UK's membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, a precursor to European monetary union, believing that it would constrain the British economy, despite the urging of her Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson and Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe, but she was persuaded by John Major to join in October 1990, at what proved to be too high a rate.
  • 1987
    Thatcher dismissed the African National Congress (ANC) in October 1987 as "a typical terrorist organisation".
    More Details Hide Details The Thatcher government supported the Khmer Rouge keeping their seat in the UN after they were ousted from power in Cambodia by the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. Although denying it at the time they also sent the SAS to train the non-Communist members of the CGDK to fight against the Vietnamese-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea government.
    Thatcher defined her own political philosophy in a major and controversial break with One Nation Conservatives like her predecessor Edward Heath, in her statement to Douglas Keay, published in Woman's Own magazine in September 1987:
    More Details Hide Details The number of adults owning shares rose from 7 per cent to 25 per cent during her tenure, and more than a million families bought their council houses, giving an increase from 55 per cent to 67 per cent in owner-occupiers from 1979 to 1990. The houses were sold at a discount of 33–55 per cent, leading to large profits for some new owners. Personal wealth rose by 80 per cent in real terms during the 1980s, mainly due to rising house prices and increased earnings. Shares in the privatised utilities were sold below their market value to ensure quick and wide sales, rather than maximise national income. Thatcher's premiership was also marked by periods of high unemployment and social unrest, and many critics on the left of the political spectrum fault her economic policies for the unemployment level; many of the areas affected by high unemployment as well as her monetarist economic policies remain blighted by social problems such as drug abuse and family breakdown.
    Thatcher's antipathy towards European integration became more pronounced during her premiership, particularly after her third election victory in 1987.
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    Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987.
    More Details Hide Details During this period her support for a Community Charge (referred to as the "poll tax") was widely unpopular, and her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet.
  • 1986
    In April 1986, Thatcher permitted US F-111s to use Royal Air Force bases for the bombing of Libya in retaliation for the alleged Libyan bombing of a Berlin discothèque, citing the right of self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
    More Details Hide Details Polls suggested that fewer than one in three British citizens approved of Thatcher's decision. She was in the US on a state visit when Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded neighbouring Kuwait in August 1990.
    Thatcher's preference for defence ties with the US was demonstrated in the Westland affair of January 1986, when she acted with colleagues to allow the struggling helicopter manufacturer Westland to refuse a takeover offer from the Italian firm Agusta in favour of the management's preferred option, a link with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.
    More Details Hide Details Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine, who had supported the Agusta deal, resigned in protest.
    In protest the Ulster Says No movement attracted 100,000 to a rally in Belfast, Ian Gow resigned as Minister of State in the HM Treasury, and all fifteen Unionist MPs resigned their parliamentary seats; only one was not returned in the subsequent by-elections on 23 January 1986.
    More Details Hide Details Thatcher supported an active climate protection policy and was instrumental in the creation of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and in founding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the British Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Exeter. Thatcher helped to put climate change, acid rain and general pollution in the British mainstream in the early 1980s. Her speeches included one to Royal Society on 27 September 1988 and to the UN general assembly in November 1989. She did not visit the Earth Summit 1992 and later became sceptical about climate change policy.
  • 1984
    Thatcher narrowly escaped injury in an IRA assassination attempt at a Brighton hotel early in the morning on 12 October 1984.
    More Details Hide Details Five people were killed, including the wife of Cabinet Minister John Wakeham. Thatcher was staying at the hotel to attend the Conservative Party conference, which she insisted should open as scheduled the following day. She delivered her speech as planned, a move that was widely supported across the political spectrum and enhanced her popularity with the public. On 6 November 1981, Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald had established the Anglo-Irish Inter-Governmental Council, a forum for meetings between the two governments. On 15 November 1985, Thatcher and FitzGerald signed the Hillsborough Anglo-Irish Agreement, the first time a British government had given the Republic of Ireland an advisory role in the governance of Northern Ireland.
    This included "casting herself as President Botha's candid friend", and inviting him to visit the UK in June 1984, in spite of the "inevitable demonstrations" against his government.
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    After the two-year negotiations, Thatcher conceded to the PRC government and signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration in Beijing in 1984, agreeing to hand over Hong Kong's sovereignty in 1997.
    More Details Hide Details Although saying that she was in favour of "peaceful negotiations" to end apartheid, Thatcher stood against the sanctions imposed on South Africa by the Commonwealth and the EC. She attempted to preserve trade with South Africa while persuading the government there to abandon apartheid.
  • 1983
    Thatcher was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1983, which caused controversy among some of the then-existing Fellows.
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    Thatcher often referred after the war to the "Falklands Spirit"; journalists Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins had suggested in 1983 that this reflected her preference for the streamlined decision-making of her War Cabinet over the painstaking deal-making of peacetime cabinet government.
    More Details Hide Details In September 1982 she visited China to discuss with Deng Xiaoping the sovereignty of Hong Kong after 1997. China was the first communist state Thatcher had visited and she was the first British prime minister to visit China. Throughout their meeting, she sought the PRC's agreement to a continued British presence in the territory. Deng stated that the PRC's sovereignty on Hong Kong was non-negotiable, but he was willing to settle the sovereignty issue with Britain through formal negotiations, and both governments promised to maintain Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.
    During her first year as Prime Minister she supported NATO's decision to deploy US nuclear cruise and Pershing II missiles in Western Europe and permitted the US to station more than 160 cruise missiles at RAF Greenham Common, starting on 14 November 1983 and triggering mass protests by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
    More Details Hide Details She bought the Trident nuclear missile submarine system from the US to replace Polaris, tripling the UK's nuclear forces at an eventual cost of more than £12 billion (at 1996–97 prices).
    Thatcher became closely aligned with the Cold War policies of United States President Ronald Reagan, based on their shared distrust of Communism, A more serious disagreement came in 1983 when Reagan did not consult with her on the invasion of Grenada.
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  • 1982
    Thatcher's popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and high unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983.
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  • 1981
    It was reported that her government secretly supplied Saddam Hussein with military equipment as early as 1981.
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  • 1980
    She condemned the invasion, said it showed the bankruptcy of a détente policy, and helped convince some British athletes to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
    More Details Hide Details She gave weak support to US President Jimmy Carter who tried to punish the USSR with economic sanctions. Britain's economic situation was precarious, and most of NATO was reluctant to cut trade ties.
  • 1979
    Thatcher's first foreign policy crisis came with the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
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    In 1979 up until Thatcher's last year in office, trade union membership also fell, from 13.5 million in 1979 to fewer than 10 million.
    More Details Hide Details The policy of privatisation has been called "a crucial ingredient of Thatcherism". After the 1983 election the sale of state utilities accelerated; more than £29 billion was raised from the sale of nationalised industries, and another £18 billion from the sale of council houses. The process of privatisation, especially the preparation of nationalised industries for privatisation, was associated with marked improvements in performance, particularly in terms of labour productivity. Some of the privatised industries, including gas, water, and electricity, were natural monopolies for which privatisation involved little increase in competition. The privatised industries that demonstrated improvement sometimes did so while still under state ownership. British Steel Corporation, for instance, made great gains in profitability while still a nationalised industry under the government-appointed chairmanship of Ian MacGregor, who faced down trade-union opposition to close plants and reduce the workforce by half. Regulation was also significantly expanded to compensate for the loss of direct government control, with the foundation of regulatory bodies such as Ofgas, Oftel and the National Rivers Authority. There was no clear pattern to the degree of competition, regulation, and performance among the privatised industries; in most cases privatisation benefited consumers in terms of lower prices and improved efficiency, but the results overall were "mixed".
    Thatcher's time in office witnessed a sharp decline in trade union density, with the percentage of workers belonging to a trade union falling from 57.3% in 1979 to 49.5% in 1985.
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    In a meeting in July 1979 with the Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington and Home Secretary William Whitelaw she objected to the number of Asian immigrants, in the context of limiting the number of Vietnamese boat people allowed to settle in the UK to fewer than 10,000.
    More Details Hide Details As Prime Minister, Thatcher met weekly with Queen Elizabeth II to discuss government business, and their relationship came under close scrutiny. Biographer John Campbell says their relations were "punctiliously correct but there was little love lost on either side." The Queen's press secretary leaked anonymous rumors of a rift, which were officially denied by the Palace. Campbell concludes that Thatcher had "an almost mystical reverence for the institution of the monarchy... Yet at the same time she was trying to modernise the country and sweep away many of the values and practices which the monarchy perpetuated." Thatcher later wrote: "I always found the Queen's attitude towards the work of the Government absolutely correct... stories of clashes between 'two powerful women' were just too good not to make up." Thatcher's economic policy was influenced by monetarist thinking and economists such as Milton Friedman and Alan Walters. Together with Chancellor of the Exchequer Geoffrey Howe, she lowered direct taxes on income and increased indirect taxes. She increased interest rates to slow the growth of the money supply and thereby lower inflation, introduced cash limits on public spending, and reduced expenditure on social services such as education and housing. Her cuts in higher education spending resulted in her being the first Oxford-educated post-war Prime Minister not to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Oxford, after a 738 to 319 vote of the governing assembly and a student petition.
  • 1978
    Her standing in the polls rose by 11% after a January 1978 interview for World in Action in which she said "the British character has done so much for democracy, for law and done so much throughout the world that if there is any fear that it might be swamped people are going to react and be rather hostile to those coming in", as well as "in many ways minorities add to the richness and variety of this country.
    More Details Hide Details The moment the minority threatens to become a big one, people get frightened." In the 1979 general election, the Conservatives attracted voters from the National Front, whose support almost collapsed.
  • 1976
    Margaret Thatcher wanted to prevent the creation of a Scottish assembly. She told Conservative MPs to vote against the Scotland and Wales Bill in December 1976, which was defeated, and then when new Bills were proposed she supported amending the legislation to allow the English to vote in the 1979 referendum on devolution.
    More Details Hide Details Britain's economy during the 1970s was so weak that Foreign Minister James Callaghan warned his fellow Labour Cabinet members in 1974 of the possibility of "a breakdown of democracy", telling them that "If I were a young man, I would emigrate." In mid-1978, the economy began to improve and opinion polls showed Labour in the lead, with a general election being expected later that year and a Labour win a serious possibility. Now Prime Minister, Callaghan surprised many by announcing on 7 September that there would be no general election that year and he would wait until 1979 before going to the polls. Thatcher reacted to this by branding the Labour government "chickens", and Liberal Party leader David Steel joined in, criticising Labour for "running scared". The Labour government then faced fresh public unease about the direction of the country and a damaging series of strikes during the winter of 1978–79, dubbed the "Winter of Discontent". The Conservatives attacked the Labour government's unemployment record, using advertising with the slogan "Labour Isn't Working". A general election was called after Callaghan's government lost a motion of no confidence in early 1979. The Conservatives won a 44-seat majority in the House of Commons, and Thatcher became the first female British prime minister.
    On 19 January 1976 Thatcher made a speech in Kensington Town Hall in which she made a scathing attack on the Soviet Union: In response, the Soviet Defence Ministry newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) called her the "Iron Lady," a sobriquet she gladly adopted.
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  • 1973
    The television critic Clive James, writing in The Observer during the voting for the leadership, compared her voice of 1973 to a cat sliding down a blackboard.
    More Details Hide Details Thatcher had already begun to work on her presentation on the advice of Gordon Reece, a former television producer. By chance Reece met the actor Laurence Olivier, who arranged lessons with the National Theatre's voice coach. Thatcher succeeded in completely suppressing her Lincolnshire dialect except when under stress, notably after provocation from Denis Healey in the House of Commons in April 1983, when she accused the Labour front bench of being frit.
  • 1970
    The Conservative Party under Edward Heath won the 1970 general election, and Thatcher was subsequently appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education and Science.
    More Details Hide Details During her first months in office she attracted public attention as a result of the administration's attempts to cut spending. She gave priority to academic needs in schools. She imposed public expenditure cuts on the state education system, resulting in the abolition of free milk for schoolchildren aged seven to eleven. She held that few children would suffer if schools were charged for milk, but agreed to provide younger children with a third of a pint daily, for nutritional purposes. Cabinet papers later revealed that she opposed the policy but had been forced into it by the Treasury. Her decision provoked a storm of protest from Labour and the press, leading to the moniker "Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher". She reportedly considered leaving politics in the aftermath and later wrote in her autobiography: "I learned a valuable lesson the experience. I had incurred the maximum of political odium for the minimum of political benefit."
    Shortly before the 1970 general election, she was promoted to Shadow Transport spokesman and later to Education.
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  • 1967
    In 1967, the United States Embassy in London chose Thatcher to take part in the International Visitor Leadership Program (then called the Foreign Leader Program), a professional exchange programme that gave her the opportunity to spend about six weeks visiting various US cities and political figures as well as institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.
    More Details Hide Details Although she was not yet a cabinet or shadow cabinet member, the embassy reportedly described her to the State Department as a possible future prime minister. The description helped Thatcher meet with many prominent people during a busy itinerary focused on economic issues, including Paul Samuelson, Walt Rostow, Pierre-Paul Schweitzer and Nelson Rockefeller. After Pike's retirement, Heath appointed Thatcher later that year to the Shadow Cabinet as Fuel and Power spokesman.
  • 1966
    At the Conservative Party conference of 1966 she criticised the high-tax policies of the Labour government as being steps "not only towards Socialism, but towards Communism", arguing that lower taxes served as an incentive to hard work.
    More Details Hide Details Thatcher was one of the few Conservative MPs to support Leo Abse's Bill to decriminalise male homosexuality. She voted in favour of David Steel's bill to legalise abortion, as well as a ban on hare coursing. She supported the retention of capital punishment and voted against the relaxation of divorce laws.
    James Prior proposed her as a member after the Conservatives' 1966 defeat, but party leader Edward Heath and Chief Whip Willie Whitelaw chose Mervyn Pike as the shadow cabinet's sole woman member.
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    By 1966, party leaders viewed Thatcher as a potential Shadow Cabinet member.
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    She moved to the Shadow Treasury team in 1966 and, as Treasury spokesman, opposed Labour's mandatory price and income controls, arguing that they would produce effects contrary to those intended and distort the economy.
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  • 1964
    After the Conservatives lost the 1964 election she became spokesman on Housing and Land, in which position she advocated her party's policy of allowing tenants to buy their council houses.
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  • 1961
    In October 1961 she was promoted to the front bench as Parliamentary Undersecretary at the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance in Harold Macmillan's administration.
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    In 1961 she went against the Conservative Party's official position by voting for the restoration of birching as a judicial corporal punishment.
    More Details Hide Details Thatcher's talent and drive caused her to be mentioned as a future Prime Minister in her early 20s although she herself was more pessimistic, stating as late as 1970 that "There will not be a woman prime minister in my lifetime – the male population is too prejudiced."
  • 1959
    Thatcher was the youngest woman in history to receive such a post, and among the first MPs elected in 1959 to be promoted.
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    She was elected as MP for the seat after a hard campaign in the 1959 election.
    More Details Hide Details Benefiting from her fortunate result in a lottery for backbenchers to propose new legislation, Thatcher's maiden speech was in support of her private member's bill (Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960), requiring local authorities to hold their council meetings in public.
    Originally a research chemist before becoming a barrister, Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959.
    More Details Hide Details Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government. In 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition and became the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election. On moving into 10 Downing Street, Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions.
  • 1958
    Afterwards, Thatcher began looking for a Conservative safe seat and was selected as the candidate for Finchley in April 1958 (narrowly beating Ian Montagu Fraser).
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  • 1955
    She chose not to stand as a candidate in the 1955 general election, in later years stating "I really just felt the twins were... only two, I really felt that it was too soon.
    More Details Hide Details I couldn't do that."
  • 1954
    In 1954, Thatcher was defeated when she sought selection to be the Conservative party candidate for the Orpington by-election of January 1955.
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  • 1953
    Denis funded his wife's studies for the bar; she qualified as a barrister in 1953 and specialised in taxation.
    More Details Hide Details Later that same year their twins Carol and Mark were born, delivered prematurely by Caesarean section.
  • 1951
    During the campaigns, she was supported by her parents and by Denis Thatcher, whom she married in December 1951.
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    At a dinner following her formal adoption as Conservative candidate for Dartford in February 1951 she met Denis Thatcher, a successful and wealthy divorced businessman, who drove her to her Essex train.
    More Details Hide Details In preparation for the election Roberts moved to Dartford, where she supported herself by working as a research chemist for J. Lyons and Co. in Hammersmith, part of a team developing emulsifiers for ice cream. In the 1950 and 1951 general elections, Roberts was the Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dartford. The local party selected her as its candidate because, though not a dynamic public speaker, Roberts was well-prepared and fearless in her answers; another prospective candidate recalled that "Once she opened her mouth, the rest of us began to look rather second-rate". She attracted media attention as the youngest and the only female candidate. She lost on both occasions to Norman Dodds, but reduced the Labour majority by 6,000, and then a further 1,000.
    Officials of the association were so impressed by her that they asked her to apply, even though she was not on the Conservative Party's approved list: she was selected in January 1951, aged 25, and added to the approved list post ante.
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  • 1948
    In 1948 she applied for a job at ICI, but was rejected after the personnel department assessed her as "headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated".
    More Details Hide Details Roberts joined the local Conservative Association and attended the party conference at Llandudno in 1948, as a representative of the University Graduate Conservative Association. One of her Oxford friends was also a friend of the Chair of the Dartford Conservative Association in Kent, who were looking for candidates.
  • 1946
    Roberts became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1946.
    More Details Hide Details She was influenced at university by political works such as Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (1944), which condemned economic intervention by government as a precursor to an authoritarian state. After graduating, Roberts moved to Colchester in Essex to work as a research chemist for BX Plastics.
  • 1945
    He was Mayor of Grantham in 1945–46 and lost his position as alderman in 1952 after the Labour Party won its first majority on Grantham Council in 1950.
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  • 1942
    She was head girl in 1942–43.
    More Details Hide Details In her upper sixth year she applied for a scholarship to study chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, but she was initially rejected and was offered a place only after another candidate withdrew. Roberts arrived at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with Second-Class Honours in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin. Her dissertation was on the structure of the antibiotic gramicidin. Even while working on chemistry, she was already thinking towards law and politics. She was reportedly more proud of becoming the first Prime Minister with a science degree than the first female Prime Minister.
  • 1925
    Thatcher was born Margaret Hilda Roberts on 13 October 1925, in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
    More Details Hide Details Her father was Alfred Roberts, originally from Northamptonshire, and her mother was Beatrice Ethel (née Stephenson) from Lincolnshire. She spent her childhood in Grantham, where her father owned two grocery shops. She and her older sister Muriel (1921–2004) were raised in the flat above the larger of the two, on North Parade. Her father was active in local politics and the Methodist church, serving as an alderman and a local preacher, and brought up his daughter as a strict Wesleyan Methodist attending the Finkin Street Methodist Church. He came from a Liberal family but stood – as was then customary in local government – as an Independent.
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