Anorak News | Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher refused free ironing board

Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher refused free ironing board

by | 30th, December 2011

MARGARET Thatcher, currently appearing as Meryl Streep in the cinemas, was once, according to papers released by the national archives, embroiled in a row over the No 10 ironing board. The iron lady was the ironing lady.

To make Downing Street ready for Mrs Thatcher’s moving in, the public purse invested £1,836 in a sprucing up, including £464 on bedding, “replacement crockery” for  £209  and £19 for an ironing board.

Nick Sanders, Mrs Thatcher’s private secretary, was unimpressed. He wrote to Whitehall mandarins:

“This must not happen again. It is all too likely that such information will be picked up and used against the Prime Minister at question time.”

Maggie wrote:

“I will pay for the ironing board.”


“I have an excellent ironing board which is not in use at home. I will pay for the new one.”

Thatcher went on:

“I could use my own crockery. Bearing in mind we use only one bedroom — can the rest [of the linen] go back into stock.”

The news had been released under the 30 year rule on secret paper. We also learn that when President Giscard d’Estaing was due to arrive at No.10 his private secretary, Jacques Wahl, was upset that for the meeting Mrs Thatcher would have a chair with arms, while the President had an armless version.

Now, 30 years later, the French have all the arms (see British aircraft carrier) and we are armless…


Posted: 30th, December 2011 | In: Politicians Comment | TrackBack | Permalink