Thatcher: Cameron hits out at ‘distasteful’ reaction

DAVID Cameron has branded some reaction to the death of Baroness Thatcher as “pretty distasteful”. The Prime Minister said he thought the majority of national feeling was to grieve for the loss of a great leader, but conceded that sections of society did not agree.

Asked if he was disappointed about animosity towards the former prime minister, he said: “I think the overwhelming sense across the country, and you can see it yesterday in the House of Commons, is that we are mourning the loss of someone who gave a huge amount to this country, that was an extraordinary leader.

“I think that is how the overwhelming majority of people feel. Of course, some people won’t agree with that but I think that some of the scenes we have seen are frankly pretty distasteful, but people should be responsible for themselves.”

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Mr Cameron said Lady Thatcher’s upbringing in Grantham, where her father was a grocer, contributed to her hard-work ethic when she rose to power.

“I think there was a really strong link between her upbringing, her values, and her action.

“I think you can sum up what she believed in – sound money, strong defence, don’t spend what you haven’t got – those strong values came from her upbringing and she applied them to the government of our country at a time when we really needed it. I think that was part of her success.”

Mr Cameron made his comments during a visit to Rolls-Royce in Derby.

During the hour-long visit, the Prime Minister toured the apprentice academy and chatted with young people working there.

Edinburgh’s big screen will go blank to avoid risk of public disorder

EDINBURGH Council has said that the funeral of Margaret Thatcher will not be shown on the city’s big screen as police fear that it will be a focal point for public disorder and protests.

The screen in Festival Square was installed to show large-scale public events, but it will be switched off on Wednesday when the former prime minister is buried.

A council spokeswoman confirmed the decision yesterday: “Dedicated coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will not be shown on the big screen in Festival Square.”

The screen is one of 22 jointly operated by the BBC and local authorities.

City centre Tory councillor Joanna Mowat said: “On matters such as this I think it’s best to listen to and take advice from the police. However, I do think it’s terribly upsetting that people have so little respect that we cannot trust the populace to behave in a way that would not put people in danger.”

Deputy city leader and SNP group leader Steve Cardownie said that while he could understand police concerns “a little perspective” was needed: “I was vastly opposed to many of her policies but I can’t see why anybody would wish to celebrate the death of a frail old woman who suffered from Alzheimer’s.”

Police ready to ‘deal with’ crime threat

Britain’s largest police force has pledged to “deal with” anyone who plans to commit crime during Baroness Thatcher’s funeral next week.

Metropolitan Police Commander Christine Jones said the force was working with specialist intelligence units as part of the security operation around the funeral on Wednesday.

She said: “If you want to come to London to commit crime we will deal with you, but if you want to come to London to exercise your right to protest we will facilitate that in a safe way.”

She urged those planning to protest to talk to police so that this could be accommodated in security plans. So far no-one has.

While the police were monitoring social media, Ms Jones said no arrests would be made unless “there is evidence to suggest crime is intended and being planned”.

The police came under fire in 2011 for pre-emptively arresting scores of people before the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.