I Never Imagined Margaret Thatcher Would Become Tory Leader, Says Ken Clarke

16 April 2019, 09:35

Veteran Conservative MP Ken Clarke has admitted he never imagined Margaret Thatcher would end up becoming the leader of the Tory party.

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The Father of the House said Britain’s first female prime minister only won the leadership contest because incumbent Ted Heath had “upset so many people”.

Having spent almost 50 years in the Commons, it’s just one of many fascinating tales he recalled to James O’Brien in the latest Full Disclosure podcast.

“One reason why she had so much trouble when she won was people thought: ‘What on earth are we doing being led by Margaret Thatcher,” Mr Clarke said.

“She wasn’t very popular with the general public, but she developed enormously.

Ken Clarke MP spoke to James O'Brien on the latest episode of Full Disclosure
Ken Clarke MP spoke to James O'Brien on the latest episode of Full Disclosure. Picture: LBC/PA

“At first she was a very classic ‘Finchley woman’,” he continued.

“She had this high-pitched shrieky voice and she was really not very good for the first year or two.”

“With the help of various people in her entourage, she changed. She actually had a remark of her personal style.”

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