VIDEO: Hampstead MP Glenda Jackson attacks Margaret Thatcher during Commons debate
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Hampstead and Kilburn MP Glenda Jackson launched a fiery attack on Margaret Thatcher and the impact of her government on local constituents during a special House of Commons debate yesterday.
The Labour MP said Baroness Thatcher was a woman but “not on my terms” during the debate in tribute to the former prime minister, who died on Monday.
Ms Jackson, 76, was loudly jeered by Conservative MPs sitting in the Commons as she ripped into Baroness Thatcher and her policies.
The former two time Oscar-winning actress said that when she became an MP in 1992 “Thatcherism was still wreaking, and had wrought for the previous decade, the most heinous social, economic and spiritual damage upon this country, upon my constituency and upon my constituents”.
She said: “We were told that everything I had been taught to regard as a vice — and I still regard them as vices — was, in fact, under Thatcherism, a virtue: greed, selfishness, no care for the weaker, sharp elbows, sharp knees, all these were the way forward.”
Ms Jackson also raised concerns that today she was seeing signs of a return to the policies pursued by the Thatcher government.
“What concerns me is that I am beginning to see what might be the re-emergence of that total traducing of what I regard as the spiritual basis of this country where we do care about society, where we do believe in communities, where we do not leave people and walk by on the other side,” said Ms Jackson.
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She concluded: “I am of a generation that was raised by women, as the men had all gone to war to defend our freedoms. They did not just run a government; they ran a country.
“To pay tribute to the first prime minister denoted by female gender, okay; but a woman? Not on my terms.”
Speaker John Bercow later overruled Conservative MP Tony Baldry who claimed the Labour MP had used un-Parliamentary language in what he said should have been a session for tributes.
Reacting to Ms Jackson’s speech, Camden Conservative councillor Gio Spinella, of Frognal and Fitzjohn’s ward, said: “It’s astonishing as Glenda hardly ever attends the House of Commons.
“She has below average attendance in the Commons and the one time our constituency MP is vocal and known it is to deliver a very vicious attack on a dead woman.
“Glenda is not standing for re-election in 2015 and after. She doesn’t have to answer to the voters for her behaviour.
“I think that, fundamentally, the time and place for some of the harsh words she said yesterday could have been more appropriate.”
Baroness Thatcher’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, with full military honours, at St Paul’s Cathedral, following a procession from Westminster.