Tory MPs mock Sir Keir Starmer for ‘Thatcherite’ comment at PMQs

Sir Keir Starmer was branded a Margaret Thatcher “fanboy” before Rishi Sunak welcomed the latest “Thatcherite” supporter during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Labour leader Sir Keir was mocked by Conservative MPs after he praised former prime minister Mrs Thatcher for having sought to “drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”.

He named her alongside former Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Clement Attlee as those leaders in modern British politics who sought to deliver “meaningful change” by acting “in service of the British people, rather than dictating to them”.

Speaking at PMQs, Conservative MP Sir Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) said: “It’s thanks to Margaret Thatcher and her robust treatment of militant trade unions in the West Midlands, her contribution of £10 billion at today’s prices to the motor industry in the West Midlands that iconic names like Jaguar and Land Rover still exist.

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“So does the Prime Minister share my boundless joy that on the road to Damascus and in recognition of her great heritage and all that she achieved, another fanboy has joined her great beliefs – the Leader of the Opposition.”

Prime Minister Mr Sunak replied: “[Sir Michael] is a fantastic champion of his area and because of the pro-business policies of this Government, I’m delighted to see the billions of pounds of investment by Jaguar Land Rover in their move towards electrification in the region.

“But he is absolutely right, I am always happy to welcome new Thatcherites from all sides of this House.

“But it does say something about the Leader of the Opposition that the main female strong leader he could praise is Margaret Thatcher and not his fantastic deputy [Angela Rayner].”

Elsewhere, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn asked Mr Sunak: “Is the Prime Minister worried that he is projected to be the first Conservative Party leader to lose a general election to a fellow Thatcherite?”

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