To Chelsea to hear Charles Moore lift the lid on his Thatcher biography. While the crowd at the Cadogan Hall loved the anecdotes and insight, it was Moore’s revelation that, in later life, it ‘became her view’ that Britain should leave the EU that pricked Steerpike’s ears.
Moore has expanded on this for tomorrow’s magazine: ‘I think it happened after the Maastricht Treaty in 1992’. So why did we not know this before she died? He claims that ‘advisers had persuaded her that she should not say this in public since it would have allowed her opponents to drive her to the fringes of public life.’ Not these days, though.
So what are EU haters in the Tory party to do? Although ‘sceptical of counter-factual questions’ that ‘assume the characters do not change with the situation’, Moore told the crowd last night that he was confident Thatcher’s loyalty to the Tories triumphed over anything that could be considered ‘splittest’. ‘Though’, he added, ‘now we have a situation where we have a prospect of no one party winning the election, I don’t know what she would think.’ A dilemma faced by many on the right.
UPDATE This story makes page one of the Daily Telegraph and the splash of its Scottish edition (below):-