Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1975 Feb 11 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

TV Interview for BBC1 Nationwide (after winning Conservative leadership)

Document type: speeches
Document kind: TV Interview
Venue: Conservative Central Office, Smith Square, Westminster
Source: BBC Television Archive: OUP transcript
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Exact time and place uncertain, but probably at Central Office after the Press Conference there.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 533
Themes: Conservative Party (organization), Conservative (leadership elections), Women

Interviewer

Mrs Thatcher, can I ask you what your feelings are at this moment?

MT

Well, I'm very thrilled, er, a little bewildered, but as you know, we're getting down to the job pretty fast.

Interviewer

How fast is that? I mean, what about the Shadow Cabinet? Are you going to announce new appointments within the next few days?

MT

I'm not going to be hustled into anything. Er, it's going to be a very big job, and a lot of people to consult, and in the meantime I hope that the present people will stay in their posts, because the business of Parliament has to carry on. And then we'll see what changes will be made. But there will be a large measure of continuity.

Interviewer

Does the continuity include keeping Mr Heath?

MT

Well, Mr Heath, er, I am pledged to ask him, of course, if he wishes to join. I do not know what his answer will be.

Interviewer

But what about some of the things you've talked about, about bringing on the younger talent in the party? When will you, sort of, do the Front Bench spokesmen after the Shadow Cabinet?

MT

Well, as soon as I can. But I think it would be wrong to rush into decisions before I've had time to think about it properly, and it would not be fair to some of the people whose claims may otherwise be considered. We've a lot of talent. That's our problem. It's not a shortage of talent. The problem is that there'll be a number of people who will be disappointed.

Interviewer

On the question of being a woman, do you think this is going to be a help or a hindrance from what you've experienced so far in the ballots?

MT

Well, it's been, if anything, it's been a help in the ballot and I … it's given one a clear distinction from ones colleagues.

Interviewer

[end p13]

Er, what about your standing in the country? Because it had been said that two to one, I think, was in favour in the constituency parties, was in favour of you, and yet the other way round with some other parts of the party. What do you think about that?

MT

I find, particularly from the letters I've had, that a tremendous number of people are rather thrilled at the prospect.

Interviewer

Of course, you will see a great change in your life now. What about the question, say, of having a private detective dogging you everywhere? Are you, in fact, going to have one?

MT

No, no, I'm not nearly as grand as that. You don't normally have your Leader of the Opposition with a private detective. I didn't when I was a minister. It's only your really big important ministers that have detectives.

Interviewer

Well, I thought Mr Heath had one after the security scare and the bombing. Won't you have one?

MT

Well, when your life is threatened, you usually do have one for a short time, but let's not reveal too much.

Interviewer

Mrs Thatcher, thank you.

MT

Thank you very much.