Thatcher supporters plan £15m memorial library

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SUPPORTERS of Baroness Thatcher are planning to enshrine her legacy through the creation of a major institution to promote her political philosophy and shape future Conservative politics.

Plans are under way for a Margaret Thatcher Library to be built in London to stand as a memorial to her achievements. Backers are aiming to raise £15 million in private funds to establish the combined library, museum and training centre.

Visitors will be able to view key artefacts from Lady Thatcher’s time in office, such as her trademark blue Aquascutum suits and her handbags.

The project – based on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California – is said to have the backing of at least three current Cabinet ministers as well as key lieutenants of the former prime minister from the 1980s.

It is being overseen by the right-of-centre Conservative Way Forward (CWF) group, established by her supporters in 1991 after she was forced out of office. CWF chief executive Donal Blaney came up with the idea in 2009 and Lady Thatcher was briefed about the project.

Ben Elliot, chairman of the project’s trustees, said: “The centre will be a place for scholars, students and tourists alike to come and learn about the remarkable life, the unique achievements and the core values of Margaret Thatcher.”

A friend, Tory MP Conor Burns, said they believed it was “vital to do something that will continue to actively contribute toward political debates”.