Below is the text of Mr Major's statement in support of the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, in the Conservative Party leadership election. The statement was released by Conservative Central Office on Friday 16 November 1990, reference 696/90.
CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER:
I am sorry that a leadership election is taking place. I do believe it is an unnecessary distraction when the task that faces us is to implement the Party’s present policies in Government and prepare future policy for the next General Election and beyond.
Margaret Thatcher is one of this country’s most successful peace time Prime Ministers and is a political leader of authority who commands respect throughout the world. At home, her leadership has brought about immense changes and has helped to transform our economy.
Margaret Thatcher’s qualities of clarity, purpose and vigour have secured the Conservative Party victory at the polls on three successive occasions and are needed by the Party today. We should all unite and support her.