Boris Allies: Don't Repeat Thatcher Betrayal
Daily Express|January 28, 2022
PM’s supporters circulate iconic Express front page in warning to rebels
Macer Hall

BET REBEL Tories were warned of the perils of plotting against their leader yesterday and repeating the self-inflicted wounds which ended the Margaret Thatcher era.

Boris Johnson’s allies urged colleagues to back him and used a Daily Express front page from 1990 to tell them not to make the same mistake their predecessors did with the Iron Lady.

An image of the newspaper’s famous headline “What Have They Done?” from the final days of Mrs Thatcher’s premiership was being circulated in text messages among ministers yesterday to make rebels think again. Supporters of the Prime Minister said the words are a chilling warning from history about the long-term damage to the Conservative Party caused by toppling a leader with a proven knack for electoral success.

One Tory MP said: “This is more than apt. When Mrs Thatcher was brought down, it led to years of infighting in the Conservative Party.

“I fear that any plotting against Boris will result in the same divisions.”

Another added: “This Express headline is a warning of where bringing down a Prime Minister can lead. Some of our newer MPs are letting themselves get spooked by a bit of criticism. They need to toughen up.”

Sir Bernard Ingham, chief press secretary to Mrs Thatcher, declared last night: “They seem to have learned nothing over the last 30 years.”

The image of the Daily Express page one from November 23, 1990, is being widely circulated as part of an effort among loyalist Tories to get behind the PM.

At the time, the headline was widely seen as summing up the despair of many grassroots Tory supporters and voters at the Cabinet ministers who forced Mrs Thatcher to resign.

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