My dear Margaret,
I came to see you before Christmas and I explained the personal reasons for wishing to relinquish my Ministerial portfolio. As you know, I reached the decision with the greatest reluctance and sadness.
As I told you then, it was only after prolonged reflection and a period of considerable personal pressure that I came to the conclusion that this was inevitable if I was to do justice to family commitments and responsibilities following Henry OppenheimHenry's death, as well as, of course, to my constitutency.
It has been a great honour to have served as a member of your Government over the past two and a half years. The inspiration of your leadership during that period is something I will always cherish. My fervent hope is that the whole country will continue to benefit from that leadership for many years to come.
Please know that you and the Government will continue to have my devoted support.
Sally [end p1]
My Dear Sally OppenheimSally,
Thank you so much for your letter of 12th February.
It is with very great regret that I accept your resignation from the Government, although I fully appreciate the reasons.
I want to thank you, most warmly, for all that you have done as a most successful Minister for nearly three years and as a Member of the Shadow Cabinet for more than four years.
You were responsible for piloting through the House of Commons, the Competition Act of 1980 which will be of lasting value to the customer and which has already had an important effect on increasing competition.
It is typical of you to have written in such generous terms and to stress that the Government will continue to enjoy your whole-hearted support.
I send you my very special thanks and warmest good wishes.