The Margaret Thatcher Interviews: Baron Walker of Worcester

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  1. Thursday 24th June 2010
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Due to polarised opinion about her achievements and legacy, reaction to her death was mixed throughout Britain and evoked contrasting praise and criticism. The funeral was notable for the attendance of the reigning monarch, Elizabeth II; each of her four successors as prime minister also paid homage. Her body was subsequently cremated at Mortlake Crematorium. Thatcher's ashes were buried at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, in a private ceremony on 28 September , alongside those of her husband Denis.

Illness and death Thatcher suffered several small strokes in and was advised by her doctors not to engage in. His resignation on 1 November is widely considered by the British press to have precipitated Thatcher's own resignation three weeks later. He was to describe himself as a quarter Scottish, a quarter Cornish and half Welsh. She was elected to the position after leading the British Conservative Party since In domestic affairs, Thatcher is best known for her sweeping policies concerning the affairs of the economy, including the privatisation of most nationalised industries.

By the late s, she would alienate several senior members of her Cabinet with her opposition to greater economic integration into the European Community. She also alienated many Conservative voters and members of Parliament with the imposition of a local poll tax. As her support ebbed away, she was challenged for the Conservative Party leadership and persuaded by Cabinet to withdraw from the second round of voting—ending her eleven-year tenure as Prime Minister.

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The Conservative Party leadership election in the United Kingdom took place on 20 November following the decision of Michael Heseltine, former Defence and Environment Secretary, to challenge Margaret Thatcher, the incumbent Prime Minister, for leadership of the Conservative Party. Thatcher failed to win outright under the terms of the election in the first ballot, and was persuaded to withdraw from the second round of voting.

She announced her resignation on the morning of 22 November , ending more than 15 years as Conservative leader and 11 years as Prime Minister. Background to the contest Discontent with Thatcher's leadership of the party had been growing over the latter years of her tenure. There were differences within the Cabinet over Thatcher's perceived intransigence in her approach to the European Economic Community.

In particular, many leading Conservatives wanted Britain to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism, a move which Thatcher did not favour. In , the then Foreign Secretary G. He is currently the Father of the House. He has been the President of the Tory Reform Group since Clarke identifies with economically and socially liberal views. Opinion polls indicated he was more popular with the general public than with his party, whose generally Eurosceptic stance did not chime with his pro-European views.

She was the first woman to hold that office. During her premiership, Thatcher moved to liberalise the British economy through deregulation, privatisation, and the promotion of entrepreneurialism. This article details the third government Thatcher led at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II from to Election The Conservatives were elected for a third successive term in June , with a majority of seats. It enabled Margaret Thatcher to become the longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century, as Britain's economic recovery continued.

Policies and economy With the battle against inflation and strikes long won, an economic boom was in its early stages. Unemployment had fallen below 3,, during the spring of , and the tax cuts by chancellor Nigel Lawson sent the economy into overdrive. By early , unemployment was below 2,, The Conservative Party leadership election was held in February , in which the party's sitting MPs voted Margaret Thatcher as party leader on the second ballot.

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Previous leader Edward Heath stood aside after the first ballot, in which he unexpectedly finished behind Thatcher. The Conservatives were the official Opposition to the Labour government, so Thatcher also became Leader of the Opposition. Background Edward Heath, leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister had called and unexpectedly lost the February general election. Although the Labour Party were able only to form a minority government, the following October general election saw them obtain a three-seat majority, and it was widely expected that Heath who had led the party for the previous decade but lost three of the four general elections he contested would not be leader of the party for much longer.

At the time the rules for electing a party leader only applied when the post was vacant and there was no way to chall. This article details the first government Thatcher led at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II from to Formation Following the vote of no confidence against the Labour government and prime minister James Callaghan on 28 March , a general election was called for 3 May The Winter of Discontent had seen the Labour government's popularity slump during the previous four months, and the opinion polls all pointed towards a Conservative victory.

The Tories won the election with a majority of 44 seats and their leader Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female prime minister. Thatcher inherited some of the worst economic statistics of postwar Britai. Having begun his career as a property developer, he became one of the founders of the publishing house Haymarket.

Heseltine served as a Member of Parliament from to , and was a prominent figure in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, including serving as Deputy Prime Minister under the latter. Heseltine entered the Cabinet in as Secretary of State for the Environment, where he promoted the "Right to Buy" campaign that allowed two million families to purchase their council houses. He was considered an adept media performer and a charismatic minister, although he was frequently at odds with Thatcher on economic issues.

He was one of the most visible "wets", whose "One Nation" views were epitomised by his support for the regeneration of Liverpool in the early s when it was facing economic collapse; this later earned him the award of Freeman of the City of Liverpo. He became Lord Speaker in September After serving as Shadow Minister of Transport, he was appointed Minister of Transport in , being responsible for making seat belts compulsory.

He resigned from the cabinet as Employment Secretary, and was knighted in In , he was made a Conservative life peer. He renounced party allegiance upon becoming Lord Speaker. Early life The son of N. Beckett was first elected to Parliament in October for Lincoln and held junior positions in the governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. She lost her seat in , but returned to the House of Commons in , this time representing Derby South.

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She was appointed to Neil Kinnock's Shadow Cabinet shortly afterwards, being elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in , becoming the first woman to hold that role. He was a key influence in the creation of what came to be known as "Thatcherism" and the subsequent decline of one-nation conservatism and the postwar consensus. Keith Joseph was the first to introduce the concept of the social market economy into Britain, an economic and social system inspired by Christian democracy. His father, Samuel Joseph headed the vast family construction and project-management company, Bovis, and was Lord Mayor of London in He served as Foreign Secretary and then Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Thatcher Government from to , and was the Member of Parliament MP for Huntingdon from until his retirement in Since the death of Margaret Thatcher in , Major has been both the oldest and earliest-serving of all living former Prime Ministers.

He initially worked as an insurance clerk, and then at the London Electricity Board, before becoming an executive at Standard Chartered. He was first elected to the House of Commons at the general election as the Member of Parliament for Huntingdon. In British politics, the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is a position within the opposition's shadow cabinet that deals mainly with issues surrounding the Foreign Office. If elected, the person serving as Shadow Foreign Secretary may be designated to serve as the new Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

He was a strong supporter of the European Communities EC , and after winning the decisive vote in the House of Commons by to , he led the negotiations that culminated in Britain's entry into the EC on 1 January It was, says biographer John Campbell, "Heath's finest hour". He became an embittered critic of Margaret Thatcher, who supplanted him as Tory leader. Heath's lower middle-class origins were quite unusual for a Tory leader of that time.

He was a leader in student politics at the University of Oxford and served as an officer in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. He worked briefly in. This article details the second government Thatcher led at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II from to Formation The Conservative government was re-elected in June with a majority of seats, with Labour in opposition having a mere seats after its worst postwar electoral performance, seeing off a close challenge from the SDP—Liberal Alliance who came close to them on votes though not with seats.

With inflation firmly under control and union reforms contributing towards the lowest level of strikes since the early s, the Tories were now faced with the challenge of reducing unemployment from a record high of 3,, March saw the begi. A member of parliament from to , he represented the Suffolk constituency of Lowestoft until and then the renamed constituency of Waveney from to , when he stood down from the House of Commons and was made a life peer.

His party returned to office under Margaret Thatcher in , and Prior was Secretary of State for Employment from to , disagreeing with some of her views on trade unions and her monetarist economic policies generally. This made him a leader of the so-called "wet" faction in the Conservative ranks. In he was moved. This is a list of the shadow cabinets of the United Kingdom, including the unofficial shadow cabinets of other parties from to the present date.

This is a summary of the electoral history of Margaret Thatcher, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from to and Leader of the Conservative Party from to A chartered accountant by training, he entered Parliament in November , and was appointed a minister in Margaret Thatcher's first government in May He successfully managed the Conservative Party's election campaign, and was rewarded with an appointment as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, but was forced to resign after revelations that his former secretary, Sara Keays, was pregnant with his child, whom she later bore and named Flora Keays.

He resigned that office in , on the same day that Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister. He was created Baron Parkinson in , and served in the House of Lords until his retirement in September He was styled Sir Ian Gilmour, 3rd Baronet from , having succeeded to his father's baronetcy, until he became a life peer in His parents divorced in , and his father married Mary, the eldest daughter of the 3rd Duke of Abercorn.

The family had land in Scotland and he inherited a substantial estate and shares in Meux's Brewery from his grandfather, Admiral of the Fleet, the Hon. Sir Hedworth Meux.

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He was educated at Eton Colleg. The Shadow Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet responsible for working with the Leader of the House in arranging Commons business and holding the Government to account in its overall management of the House. The Shadow Leader also responds to the Leader's Business Statement each Thursday, though the Leader of the Opposition exercised this role until the late s. The office is roughly equivalent to the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords.

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He was Member of Parliament MP representing the constituencies of Cambridgeshire —83 and South East Cambridgeshire —87 , and was made a life peer in He was not a descendant of the 17th century Parliamentarian John Pym as has been commonly held see Pym's own published family history. He was educated at Eton, before going on to Magdalene College, Cambridge. He became a barrister, called by the Middle Temple in , and company director. He was a councillor on Hornsey Borough Council from to From , he served as an Opposition spokesman on economic and trade affairs.

Davies was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and spent most of the war in the Combined Operations headquarters. He joined the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company as an accountant in the marketing division, he qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Davies worked for the company in London and Paris.

This position put him in charge of a national chain of petrol stations. He became a Director of Hill Samuel Group. Due to his position he was made a member of the grand council of the Federation of British Industry, chaired a committee on technical legislation, his conduct on that committee was regarded as impressive.

Davies was appointed as its Director-General from that July, wanting the organisation to have a much higher profile than its predecessors, he supported initiatives such as the National Economic Development Council where government and trades unions met to discuss the economy, set up a joint CBI-TUC joint committee. He was supportive of British entry into the European Community when the government applied in Davies surprised some, such as Enoch Powell in May , when he made a speech in California in which he observed that the Labour government's measures to keep pay and prices down were working.

He was a member of the Public Schools Commission; however Davies was a Conservative by instinct and after the devaluation of the Pound sterling in November , he became much more critical of the government. He would lambast Labour ministers on television, although he continued to work together with Ministers in private. Davies handed over the title of Director-General to Campbell Adamson in In , Davies was recruited by Edward Heath to join his government.

Heath was looking to lead a'businesslike' government and believed that senior business figures serving in senior posts would provide more expert management. Davies began to be more quotably critical, describing the "solemn and binding" accord between the government and the TUC as useful only in the lavatory, he failed to win the selection for the Conservative nomination at the Louth byelection of , for Cities of London and Westminster for the general election.

However, with Central Office support, Davies was found a seat at Knutsford in Cheshire , which he won in the general election on 18 June That October, Davies was promoted to be Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, a new department set up by Heath, he introduced himself at the Conservative Party Conference with a speech which reiterated Heath's pre-election policy of refusing to intervene in industry.

The phrase most associated with him was said in the House of Commons on 4 November, when Davies said: "We believe that the essential need of the country is to gear its policies to the great majority of people, who are not'lame ducks', who do not need a. The organisation shares the same values and policies as its parent political party with branches being an integrated part of local associations, with the exception of college and university branches which are run independently. YC is both social and political, aiming to bring together young conservatives and encouraging young people to get involved in campaigning; the Junior Imperial and Constitutional League was formed in with objectives to encourage practical political work and organisation among young people in Britain.

Junior Associations were set up in each Parliamentary Division and throughout the British Empire , co-operating with Conservative and Unionist Associations with an ambition to create Imperial unity and to further the Conservative and Unionist cause. It closed down during the Second World War. After the Conservative Party suffered a catastrophic defeat in the general election , the Young Britons Organisation was reformed to cater for both boys and girls aged 6—16, while the Young Conservatives was set up to cater for an older age group; the Young Conservatives attracted a large following and, by , claimed a membership of , This made it the largest political youth movement in a liberal democracy, though not all its members were motivated by politics.

A large part of its appeal lay in its social activities that brought young people together in a safe environment. Countless middle-class British couples met at the "YC's" dances and charity events in the s. One large factor in the rapid decline in membership was the factionalism that gripped the movement in the early s, first manifesting itself during Eric Pickle's chairmanship.

The radical right was a growing force in young Tory politics. The S. At the Young Conservative's national conference in Eastbourne in February , Pickles presided over a growing split in the ranks between northern "liberals" and southern "right-wingers". From that point onwards, a battle for leadership ensued between the moderates and'Drys'; the moderates attempted to play up the image problems the Young Monday Club and the Libertarians would present to the organisation. The BBC series A Bit of Fry and Laurie , featured a sketch entitled'Young Conservative of the Year', the basis of, an arrogant, right-wing and upper class Young Conservative competing in a mock contest on the reactionary and authoritarian content of his speech in a mock contest.

In the BBC series, Harry Enfield and Chums , Harry Enfield played a character called'Tory Boy', an arrogant and reactionary right-wing Young Conservative; the National Chairmen of the Young Conservatives were associated with the moderate tradition of the Conservative Party until the election in which resulted in the defeat of the moderate incumbent. Until leadership had been from the Conservative party'left' with only a couple of exceptions. Notable exceptions to the'One Nation' moderate leadership were David Atkinson MP who as a committed Christian campaigner and backer of corporal punishment and Sir Fergus Montgomery MP, a supporter of apartheid South Africa and another corporal punishment advocate.

Otherwise the YC's produced a long line of Tory reformers until the moderate faction was defeated in the late s, although Clive Landa's defeat of Christopher Horne , the chairman of the Hyde Park Tories, in the election in Greater London was far closer than was expected by the supporters of both candidates.

A British Conservative Party politician , he was the Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire from to , for Worcester from until He was a Defence Minister from to Before entering parliament, he worked for three years from as a research assistant to the Conservative MP Peter Walker , before heading up Edward Heath's private office for two years from , he became the managing director of Good Relations Ltd, a public affairs company in In , he became a special adviser to the Secretary of State for David Young , he became a senior consultant for Lowe Bell Communications in , before again working for Good Relations from He was first elected to Parliament for Worcester, when he succeeded Peter Walker.

Following changes in the parliamentary constituency boundaries, he was selected for the new Mid Worcestershire constituency, comprising large areas of three old constituencies, defeating another sitting Conservative MP, Eric Forth for the nomination, he won the seat comfortably and was a member of the House of Commons from In he held the safe seat of Mid Worcestershire until In Parliament he was appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary in to the energy minister Tim Eggar , from he served as PPS to both Ann Widdecombe the prisons minister at the Home Office and Lord Mackay the Lord Chancellor , he held these two positions until the defeat of the Conservative government at the general election of , he served on many parliamentary select committees, including chairing the Agriculture from to , from to he chaired what was successively known as the Trade and Industry Committee.

Prior to the general election of , Luff had stood down as a candidate. He married Julia Jenks in , they have a daughter. He was selected for the seat in August , in which he was elected in , was re elected in the General Election, defeating Labour challenger Joy Squires , his father was Lord Walker of Worcester, MP for Worcester from to - the same seat which Robin now represents.

He identifies as a One-nation Tory. After leaving University, Walker set up his own internet business, before pursuing a career in the City of London with the financial communications company, Finsbury Group. In the General Election , he defeated incumbent MP Mike Foster to win the Worcester seat, eighteen years after his father retired as a member of parliament for the same constituency and joined the House of Lords.

Since being elected Member of Parliament for Worcester, Walker has campaigned for jobs for local people in Worcester and better apprenticeships, fairer funding in education, cutting fuel duty as well as a referendum on the European Union. Walker was elected to the Business Innovation and Skills Committee in , focusing on apprenticeships, SME policy and business rates reform to improve opportunities for young people and businesses, he was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to Elizabeth Truss , the Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, in September Walker has supported a number of cross party initiatives on making credit unions available in post offices as well as helping them to compete with larger lenders, he had received the Citizens Advice Parliamentarian of the Year Award earlier in the year, in recognition for his campaign for better regulation of pay day lenders.

In July , Walker called on Prime Minister David Cameron to use "every tool in the box" to de-escalate the violence in Gaza, bring both sides to the table; that year, Walker campaigned for a two-hour train service from Worcester to London , citing benefits to local constituents and businesses. He spoke on this topic during a parliamentary debate in the House of Commons calling for a'faster and more frequent train service'. Walker was opposed to Brexit prior to the Referendum. In July , he was appointed as Minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union, in the government led by Theresa May , he campaigned for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom during Scotland's referendum on independence.

Arguing against, he said that "tempting though that might be, I think the idea of an independence day would face fierce competition from the likes of St George's Day , Trafalgar Day and many more. He was a Member of Parliament for 47 years between the and general elections and a Cabinet minister in the Labour governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan in the s and s.

A moderate, he was identified as being on the party's hard left from the early s, was seen as a key proponent of democratic socialism within the party. Benn inherited a peerage on his father's death, which prevented his continuing as an MP, he fought to remain in the House of Commons , campaigned for the ability to renounce the title, a campaign which succeeded with the Peerage Act He was an active member of the Fabian Society and was its Chairman from until In the Labour Government of —70 he served first as Postmaster General , where he oversaw the opening of the Post Office Tower , as a " technocratic " Minister of Technology , he served as Chairman of the Labour Party in —72 while in opposition, in the Labour Government of — , he returned to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Industry , before being made Secretary of State for Energy , retaining his post when James Callaghan replaced Wilson as Prime Minister.

When the Labour Party was again in opposition through the s, he emerged as a prominent figure on its left wing and the term "Bennite" came into currency as someone associated with radical left-wing politics. He unsuccessfully challenged Neil Kinnock for the Labour leadership in Benn was described as "one of the few UK politicians to have become more left-wing after holding ministerial office".

After the Thames flood in January their house was uninhabitable so the Benn family moved to Scotland for over 12 months, their father, William Wedgwood Benn, was a Liberal Member of Parliament from who crossed the floor to the Labour Party in and was appointed Secretary of State for India by Ramsay MacDonald in , a position he held until the Labour Party's landslide electoral defeat in William Benn was given the title of Viscount Stansgate in the new wartime coalition government was short of working Labour peers in the upper house.

Benn's mother, Margaret Wedgwood Benn , was a theologian and the founder President of the Congregational Federation , she was a member of the League of the Church Militant , the predecessor of the Movement for the Ordination of Women. His mother's theology had a profound influence on Benn, as she taught him that the stories in the Bible were based around the struggle between the prophets and the kings and that he ought in his life to support the prophets over the kings, who had power, as the prophets taught righteousness.

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Benn asserted that the teachings of Jesus Christ had a "radical political importance" on his life, made a distinction between the historical Jesus as "a carpenter of Nazareth " who advocated social justice and egalitarianism and "the way in which he's presented by some religious authorities. He believed that it was a "great mistake" to assume that the teachings of Christianity are outdated in modern Britain, Higgins wrote in The Benn Inheritance that Benn was "a socialist whose political commitment owes much more to the teaching of Jesus than the writing of Marx".

In his life, Benn emphasised issues regarding morality and righteousness, as well as various ethical principles of Nonconformism. Some of the arguments about the control of the media today, which are big arguments, are the arguments that would have been fought in the religious wars. You have the satellites coming in now—well, it is the multinational church all over again. Although Benn became more agnostic as he became older, he was intrigued by the interconnections between Christianity and socialism.

Wilby wrote in The Guardian that although former Chancellor Stafford Cripps described Benn as "as keen a Christian as I am myself", Benn wrote in that he was "a Christian agnostic" who believed "in Jesus the prophet, not Christ the king" rejecting the label of " humanist ". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

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Boris Johnson poised to stand for second term as Mayor. Mr Johnson is expected next month to confirm his candidacy for the election in which he could face a rerun of his dramatic battle with the previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, who has put himself forward for the Labour nomination. Michael Gove's free schools face costly challenge — The Guardian.

A committed Tory "wet" who in private — and not infrequently in public — disputed Thatcherite orthodoxy, Peter Walker possessed the ability and staying-power to outlast not only his fellow Heathites but also devotees of the Iron Lady who were found wanting. The Canadians are disappointed that Samantha Cameron will not be at the G20 this weekend. Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit PoliticsHome. Read our comments policy. You must be logged in to post a comment. Each weekday — between 9am and 10am — we send The Conservative Daily with links to all the big Tory news stories.

Published: June 24, 43 comments 9. Government to seek further cuts "The Government will seek even deeper cuts in welfare than those announced in the Budget in order to protect frontline public services, George Osborne said yesterday. Share this article:. Newslinks for Friday 28th June Published: June 28, Newslinks for Thursday 27th June Published: June 27,