'Get a backbone!' Penny Mordaunt eviscerates Starmer's Thatcher remarks in furious Commons rant

​Penny Mordaunt

Penny Mordaunt has attacked Sir Keir Starmer for his remarks about Margaret Thatcher

PA
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke


Published: 07/12/2023

- 16:53

Mordaunt accused the Labour Party of 'plotting to destroy all that [Thatcher] built and stood for'

Penny Mordaunt has attacked Sir Keir Starmer for his remarks about Margaret Thatcher.

Last week, Starmer praised Margaret Thatcher for imposing "meaningful change" on the UK.


She accused the Labour Party of "plotting to destroy all that [Thatcher] built and stood for".

Giving a statement on the business of the House of Commons, Mordaunt said: "It is great to see the Labour party channelling the right of the Conservative party—channelling Mrs Thatcher recently on borders, on fiscal responsibility and on her crusade for workers, wealth creators, carers and protectors.

"Unfortunately, the party is simultaneously plotting to destroy all that she built and stood for.

"I knew Margaret Thatcher, and I can tell the hon. Lady that the Leader of the Opposition is no Margaret Thatcher.

"It will take rather more than a light perm, pearls and a handbag for him to pull off that look. He will need to get a backbone.

"He will need to get some principles. He will need to rethink the Labour Party’s stance on our Rwanda policy and our border controls.

"He will need to rethink borrowing £28 billion more. He might also like to stand up for the public and support our minimum service level agreements.

"He might like to reject the demands of the TUC, which wants to repeal all the reforms that Maggie brought in. He might like to call out the British Medical Association’s cruel plans to cancel operations and cancel Christmas for thousands of elderly people in care.

"He might like to call out the immoral ask of unions to transport workers, who will have to forgo pay over Christmas."

She added: "In fairness, the great lady did say: 'You turn if you want to'.

"And Labour’s leader has jolly well done so, several times on his leadership pledges and on almost every policy announced since he became leader.

"If she was the iron lady, he is the ironic man."

Speaking about the former Prime Minister, Starmer said: "Thatcher did have a plan for entrepreneurialism.

"That doesn’t mean I agree with what she did, but I don’t think anybody could suggest that she didn’t have a driving sense of purpose."

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Defending his remarks earlier this week, he said: "My focus is not on the Labour Party members and the Labour Party movement.

"We’ve spent a decade before I became leader obsessing about our membership and having a discussion with ourselves."

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