Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1949 Feb 11 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

Interview for Grantham Journal (selected for Dartford)

Document type: speeches
Document kind: Interview
Venue: -
Source: Grantham Journal , 11 February 1949
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Item listed by date of publication; time, date and place of interview unknown. The article was illustrated with a photograph of MT. Article reproduced by kind permission of the Grantham Journal.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 460
Themes: Autobiographical comments, General Elections

To tilt a lance for Conservatism

This Grantham girl will be the youngest-ever political candidate

A chance remark at a Llandudno Tory Party Conference in October may lead to the daughter of Alfred Robertsa former Mayor of Grantham becoming a Member of Parliament at the next General Election.

If she is successful, she will become one of the youngest members of the fair sex ever to take her seat in Parliament. She has, in fact, already made history for at the moment she is the youngest prospective woman Tory candidate in the country.

She is Miss Margaret Roberts, the 23 years-old daughter of Ald. and Mrs. A. Roberts, of North-parade, Grantham, who was recently chosen from a short-list as prospective Tory candidate for the constituency of Dartfortd, at present a fairly heavily-held Labour seat.

It is a large constituency with a population of between 70,000 and 80,000. At the last election Norman Doddsthe Socialist candidate, a publicity agent, secured a majority of 19,714 in a straight fight against a Conservative nominee.

Miss Roberts told me that Conservative supporters at Dartford were quietly confident that there was a good chance this time of winning the seat back.

“I think that, probably with vigorous campaigning, it can be done” , she said, “though there is not so much time left.”

The adoption meeting , by the way, takes place in about a fortnight.

Chance remark

You may be interested to know the circumstances which led her to seek Parliamentary honours.

A close friend was seated next to the chairman of the Dartford Division at the Llandudno Conference. During the proceedings J.L.M. Millerthe Dartford chairman mentioned that they were on the lookout for a candidate.

“I think I know someone” , said Miss Roberts' friend, and that was how Miss Roberts came into the picture.

A few days ago, she was interviewed as a member of a short-list of three, and then came that announcement that she had been chosen as prospective candidate.

Politics and music

A native of Grantham, Miss Roberts is an old girl of Kesteven and Grantham School and took her B.Sc degree in chemistry at Oxford. Since September 1947, she has been with B.X. Plastics at Manningtree as a research chemist.

In the 1945 Michaelmas term she was president of the Oxford University Conservative Association, and was the third woman to receive that honour.

“Politics take up most of my spare time, but I am very keen on music” , Miss Roberts told me.

At the last General Election, she undertook quite a lot of speaking on behalf of Sqd-Ldr. G.A. Worth, both at Grantham and at Sleaford.

— “Observer”