Boris: Give Nobel peace prize to Thatcher instead

By Charles Maggs

The Nobel committee should have given the peace prize to Margaret Thatcher instead of the EU, Boris Johnson said today.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph the London mayor suggested that giving the prize to the EU was like giving a posthumous award to Jimmy Savile for his charity work.

"She has done more than just about anyone to preserve peace and democracy in Europe," he said of Thatcher.

"It was her 87th birthday on Saturday and it would have been a nice thing if the Nobel committee had recognised her at last."

Thatcher remains a highly divisive character and many of her opponents would suggest that her confrontational stance over the Falklands would rule her out of such a prize.

But her supporters, including Johnson, point to her role alongside Ronald Regan in standing up to the Soviet Union.

"Yes, instead of giving the prize to a clutch of ugly plate-glass office blocks in Brussels, the Nobel committee should have awarded it to Margaret Hilda Thatcher," he said.

The Nobel prize was criticised in 2009 for awarding Barak Obama, despite having only been president for nine months and ordering a troop surge in Afghanistan shortly before the decision.

But European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso praised the award.

"It is indeed a great honour for all the 500 million citizens of Europe, for all the member states and all the European institutions to receive this Nobel prize for peace," he said.

Johnson is currently the darling of the Tory party after getting a rock-star style reception at the party's conference last week.