Margaret Thatcher debate sparks explosive row between Ann Widdecombe and Kevin Maguire: 'You are pathetic!'
In a fiery GB News debate, Ann Widdecombe and Kevin Maguire came to blows over Margaret Thatcher's legacy
In a fiery GB News debate, Ann Widdecombe and Kevin Maguire came to blows over Margaret Thatcher's legacy.
Former Conservative minister Ms Widdecombe firmly voiced her support for the former Prime Minister, who resigned from her role in 1990.
Journalist Kevin Maguire, however, felt that Mrs Thatcher, often dubbed the "Iron Lady," has a legacy that continues to damage the UK.
Ms Widdecombe, citing Mrs Thatcher's council house-selling scheme, says the former PM "made it possible" for people who felt "excluded" to become property owners.
She told Patrick Christys and Mercy Muroki on GB News' To The Point: "She was the original leveller up, her rationale for selling council houses was very straightforward.
"It was that people who felt completely excluded from the property ownership market.
"She made it possible for them to become property owners, by the exact same token she created the assisted places scheme in public schools for poor children who were able.
"I think her legacy is terrific and I only wish we had Margaret Thatcher today."
Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror, offered a differing perspective.
He said: "It was a policy that contributed to 20 million families being on social housing waiting lists now.
"It was a disastrous period, the rich got richer, the poor got poorer."
The pair soon came to blows over the impact of Mrs Thatcher, with Ms Widdecombe saying it's "embarrassing to the left" that the former PM was "very high achieving".
Mr Maguire, on the other hand, argued that the 2008 financial crash could be "traced back" to Mrs Thatcher's premiership.
He said: "Mrs Thatcher made things worse, not better, even the financial collapse of 2008 in the UK you can trace back to the 1986 Big Bang in the city when deregulations were swept away."
Ms Widdecombe argued that it is "absolutely farcical" for Mr Maguire to attribute blame for the financial crash to the former Prime Minister.
She said: "You are pathetically arguing this morning, you're off form."
Mrs Thatcher's 11-year tenure as Prime Minister remains a contentious talking point among Brits, with many arguing that her legacy left the country more divided than ever, while some feel her achievements rank her among the most successful Prime Ministers.
Boris Johnson recently compared himself to her in an exclusive GB News interview by likening the way the Government dealt with the post-Covid situation to Thatcherite policy.
He told us: "Don't forget in times of difficulty Mrs Thatcher had state spending running very, very high as a proportion of GDP because of the economic difficulties the country was in.
"So something like Covid I think she would have dealt with in exactly the same way."