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1987 Oct 26 Mo
Margaret Thatcher

Letter to Lord Havers (resignation)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Letter
Venue: No.10 Downing Street
Source: Thatcher Archive
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Lord Havers’s letter of resignation precedes MT’s.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 383
Themes: Executive (appointments), Judiciary

Dear Prime Minister, As you know, I have not been in the best of health recently. I came back to work last week feeling much better, but I am afraid I am finding the burden is too much for me. It is not widely appreciated how important and onerous the duties of the Lord Chancellor are. Much though I would like to carry on, I owe it to you and to the public not to do so unless I am really satisfied that I can do the job properly. With great regret, I have therefore come to the conclusion that I must offer to you my resignation.

I shall always remember with [end p1] pleasure my time as Solicitor-General, Attorney-General and, finally, as Lord Chancellor.

I can only thank you again for having entrusted me with the highest of all legal offices and assure you of my continuing personal and political support.

Every good wish yours ever.


Dear Michael HaversMichael,

Thank you for your letter telling me that you feel that you must resign your office as Lord Chancellor in view of the strains upon your health.

I know that it gave you and your family immense pride and satisfaction when you became Lord Chancellor: the appointment set the seal on a distinguished legal and political career. So it is a matter of great sorrow that your health will not after all permit you to discharge the exacting burdens of that great office as you would wish to do. I know only too well the deep disappointment that this will cause you.

I am intensely grateful for all that you have done during your time in Ministerial office—first as Solicitor General between 1972 and 1974, then between 1979 and June this year as the longest serving Attorney General and finally for an all too brief time as Lord Chancellor. Every member of the Government who has worked with you will remember your wise counsel and advice, and your unfailing courtesy.

I send you my warmest thanks for all that you have done whilst you have been in Government and for the expression of [end p2] personal and political support in your letter. Denis ThatcherDenis joins me in sending you and Carol HaversCarol our best wishes for the future. We all very much hope that the relief from the burdens of office will help to restore your health.

Yours ever Margaret