Commentary (The Times)

MT: “Thatcher state funeral plan denied” (‘no such plans’)

Document type: Press
Source: The Times , 8 August 2006
Journalist: Hugo Rifkind, The Times
Editorial comments: Published in the People diary column of The Times .
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 152 words
Themes: Executive

Thatcher state funeral plan denied

PEOPLE by Hugo Rifkind

A SIGN perhaps, of the rampant cross-dressing that Tony Blair believes to be a feature of British politics.

Officials at Downing Street have had to write to a Labour MP to deny that the Government was planning a state funeral for Baroness Thatcher. The Prime Minister is thought to have been in favour of honouring the Iron Lady in a manner previously reserved for the Royal Family and Winston Churchill .

There was even said to be a blueprint for the occasion, drawn up by the Cabinet Office: the cortège would pass through Trafalgar Square on its way to Westminster Abbey.

Rosie Cooper , MP for Lancashire West, had local members threatening to resign at the prospect. “I can confirm that there are no such plans,” John McTernan , Blair’s political secretary, wrote. “I hope this reply reassures your constituents.”