Geoffrey Howe breaks Margaret Thatcher silence

Former Cabinet Minister Geoffrey Howe at Baroness Thatcher's funeral. Picture: PA

Former Cabinet Minister Geoffrey Howe at Baroness Thatcher's funeral. Picture: PA

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FORMER Chancellor Geoffrey Howe, the man credited with triggering Lady Thatcher’s downfall as Prime Minister, has broken his silence on his former boss.

Lord Howe, who did not speak in last week’s tributes in the Lords despite appearing to clutch a speech, is blamed by Lady Thatcher’s disciples for her resignation.

His own resignation speech in 1990 over European policy, three weeks before she was forced to led office, is understood to have persuaded Michael Heseltine to run against the Iron Lady.

But in an obituary written for House magazine, Lord Howe said: “It is still a source of deep sorrow to me that the triumph of the Thatcher years should have been marred by the tragedy of her later, sometimes less considered, stances on key issues.

“The withdrawal of support that Margaret suffered in November 1990 was a consequence of an increasing perception among her colleagues that the very single-mindedness, which had for so long achieved so much, was now running risks for her party and country.”

But he added: “Napoleon is alleged to have remarked that the greatest happiness that can befall any politician is, one hundred years after his (or her) death, still to have enemies. Margaret would hope for and expect no less.”

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