Fri, Apr 12, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Discord mars MPs’ Thatcher tributes

POLARIZING FIGURE:Fewer than 100 of the 256 Labour MPs attended a hastily scheduled day of praise in the British parliament for the former prime minister

The Guardian, London

The British Foreign Office confirmed the instructions had been issued on Tuesday night, but said they were a mistake, adding that they would be withdrawn.

Miliband drew praise from Tory MPs and right-wing commentators for a speech that navigated the rapids of describing a figure of such notoriety on the left so soon after death.

He praised her by saying: “She was right to understand the sense of aspiration felt by people across the country, and she was right to recognize that our economy needed to change.”

“In foreign policy, she was right to defend the Falklands and bravely reach out to new leadership in the Soviet Union, and something often forgotten is that she was the first political leader in any major country to warn of the dangers of climate change, long before anyone thought of hugging a husky,” he said.

However, he added: “It would be dishonest and not in keeping with the principles that Margaret Thatcher stood for not to be open with the House, even on this day, about the strong opinions and deep divisions there were, and are, over what she did.”

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