PM Johnson's Claims On Europe Played Part In Margaret Thatcher's Downfall: Documents

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Newly released documents from Margaret Thatcher's time in Downing Street suggests that an article by Boris Johnson regarding the EU may have led to her downfall

Written By Vishal Tiwari | Mumbai | Updated On:
Margaret Thatcher

Newly released documents from Margaret Thatcher's time in Downing Street suggests that an article by Boris Johnson regarding the European Union may have led to her downfall. According to reports, Thatcher took note of an article written by Boris Johnson during his time as Brussels correspondent and she also marked two lines beside a paragraph in the story. As per reports, the article dated October 24, 1990, carried a headline that read, 'British Right Of Veto Faces Axe In Delors Plan' and was published by Daily Telegraph.

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The 'article' and the 'downfall'

The story was on the European Commission's then-president Jacques Delors who was reported as suggesting to pave way for a Federation of Europe, a super-state with Brussels Commission as the executive government and the Council of Ministers as a senate. As per reports, Thatcher took note of the paragraph and delivered her famous "no, no, no" speech in the UK parliament six days later. The speech is believed to be one of the defining moments that led to her downfall.

Following Thatcher's speech, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Commons, Sir Geoffrey Howe quit and delivered a devastating resignation speech, which many believe contributed to her downfall. Thatcher was ousted a few days later in November 1990.

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According to reports, Chris Collins, from the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust which is making the documents available to the public, has said Boris Johnson's article was "not quite right". As per reports, two days after the article was published, a memo was sent by a senior Foreign Office official Richard Gozney to Thatcher's Private Secretary Charles Powell, where the former wrote, "The Commission Opinion itself does not contain what Deloras is reported by the Daily Telegraph as having suggested. It does not propose any radical change in the present institutional plans of the community - although it does contain a lot of other horrors."

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Boris Johnson, who was then a journalist is now the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Boris Johnson-led Conservative Party won 365 seats in the House of Commons to sweep the 2019 general election by a landslide victory. For Boris Johnson and his party, the election was a referendum on Brexit as they sought a majority in the house to effectively decide on leaving the European Union. Boris Johnson called for an early election and comfortably led his party to a win, which provided the Conservatives with its largest majority since 1987, under Margret Thatcher.

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(with inputs from agencies)

Lead Image Credit: AP

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