Theresa May has announced that a proposal for a statue of Margaret Thatcher in Parliament Square should not be abandoned due to threats of vandalism.
Plans revolving around the ten-foot bronze statue of Tatcher, reportedly costing £300,000, included placing the memorial of Britain’s first female Prime Minister on the western edge of Canning Green, alongside Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln.
However, the plans to erect the statue in the famous square were halted following concerns that Thatcher’s daughter, Carol, objected to the statue, stating the design did not include a handbag, reported The Mail on Sunday last year.
Neighbours also raised concerns about the potential for such controversial statue to be defaced.
Ms May was quick to intervene. “I understand there are a number of issues that have been raised around the statue. What I’m very clear about is there should be no suggestion that the threat of vandalism should stop a statue of Margaret Thatcher from being put up”, she said.
Concerns of vandalism were also raised by conservationists. In their response to the planning application, the Thorney Island Society (TIS), a local architectural society, advised that the principle of leaving a 10-year gap between the death of a subject and the installation of a statue should be adhered to.
“While Lady Thatcher was also widely respected, it cannot be said that she was uncontroversial in this country”, commented the Society.
Responding to reports the statue had been blocked on grounds of vandalism, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Daily Mail, “blocking it for fear of thugs and vandals is the lily-livered approach that Lady Thatcher most disdained”.