Margaret Thatcher Dead: Norman Tebbit Attacks Tory Colleagues Who Brought Her Down

'I Left Her At The Mercy Of Her Friends. That I Do Regret.'

Conservative grandee Lord Tebbit has attacked the Conservatives who helped depose Margaret Thatcher.

In a throwback to the infighting that brought about the end of Thatcher's leadership, Tebbit told the House of Lords she had been "left at the mercy of her friends."

Norman Tebbit paying tribute to Thatcher in the House of Lords on Wednesday

He was speaking as members of the House of Lords paid tribute to the former Prime Minister, who died on Monday.

Over in the Commons, MPs held their own debate.

Many of the peers had been part of Thatcher's government, while others, including Lib Dem Lord Ashdown, had faced her across the despatch box.

Thatcher was forced to resign in 1990 during an internal leadership struggle.

With one of the chief protagonists, Lord Howe, Thatcher's former Foreign Secretary, sitting nearby on the red benches, Tebbit recalled how he had left government after the 1987 General Election to care for his wife, who was injured in the IRA Brighton bombing.

He said: "I left her at the mercy of her friends. That I do regret."

Peers took turns to share anecdotes. Another former Cabinet member, Lord Fowler, recalled: "it was true that if you were prepared to be handbagged, she would oblige."

He also said one member of the the Cabinet had dissented when she asked each one to support the Falklands war.

Ashdown said he had been "terrorised" by having to face Thatcher in the Commons, recalling how he would be "ritually handbagged.'

David Cameron came to listen to the debate as former Chancellor Lord Lamont paid his tribute.

Lord Deben, also known as former Environment Secretary John Gummer, also paid tribute.

He said the former Prime Minister "had beautiful hands and lovely ankles and she knew how to use them."


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