Labour coy on state funeral for Thatcher

No plans prepared for state funeral for former prime minister Margaret Thatcher - politics.co.uk
No plans prepared for state funeral for former prime minister Margaret Thatcher - politics.co.uk

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has said no plans have been drawn up for a state funeral for former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Ms Harman told the Guardian newspaper that reports this month about a request made by the Iron Lady's press office for a formal ceremony were untrue.

Speaking about the claims, she said: "There is no arrangement on this and those stories are not accurate."

The report stresses the state funeral claims do not suggest 82-year-old Mrs Thatcher, who was prime minister throughout the 1980s, is suffering from ill health.


Ms Harman added that her work at the prime minister's office this week revolved around economic issues in spite of coverage of rebellion within the Labour party dominating the headlines.

She told the Guardian: "For all the speculation about whether Humphrey the cat [former No 10 cat] is going to be the next leadership contender, and that was taking up acres of pages, the No 10 agenda was on the economy."

The senior Labour official added that gas prices, the mortgage market and EDF Energy's efforts to takeover British Energy were the top issues being considered.

Ms Harman also told the paper that the prime minister had not called to handle official matters during his holiday.

"He was not at all ringing up saying 'don't do this or do that,' but Gordon and I have worked together for 25 years so we kind of understand each other," she added.

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