Sir John Major’s ITV Interview following the death of Baroness Thatcher – 8 April 2013

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.