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1997 Onwards - Sir John Major’s Interview following the death of Baroness Thatcher

Below is the text of Sir John Major’s interview with Alex Forrest, for ITV News, on 8th April 2013 following the death of Baroness Thatcher.



INTERVIEWER:


[Sir John was asked whether Baroness Thatcher had been divisive]


SIR JOHN MAJOR:


There are many different Margarets, there is the Margaret of legend and there is the Margaret who really existed, who in terms of being a politician was very forceful, but she could also be pragmatic when she needed to be. She knew when to move away and when to come back and attack again.


INTERVIEWER:


[Sir John was asked what Baroness Thatcher’s biggest weakness was]


SIR JOHN MAJOR:


I think all politicians who are in Parliament for a while, and in particular if they are Prime Minister for a while, they lose the inner ear that connects them to the electorate. After three election victories I think it faded away a little, and things began to go wrong in the last couple of years.


INTERVIEWER:


[Sir John was asked if Baroness Thatcher rowed with him openly]


SIR JOHN MAJOR:


Quite openly. And on many occasions and on many issues. We began our relationship in Parliament with a row. I was the Treasury Whip and I expressed a view that she didn’t like and there was a fierce row. Three weeks later she made me a Minister.


INTERVIEWER:


[Sir John was asked if Baroness Thatcher had made his time as Prime Minister difficult]


SIR JOHN MAJOR:


On this day I wouldn’t say anything of that sort. On this day I want to look back on the things which were really good for this country.


INTERVIEWER:


[Sir John was asked if she was a strong leader to follow]


SIR JOHN MAJOR:


She’s a very big measure to be measured against. I think, whatever the divisive points are, she will be seen as someone who was a very great Prime Minister. Margaret was right for her time. I don’t think that Margaret would be right for the consensus politics of today.