Papers released under 30 year rule reveal full force of Thatcher’s fury

GUARDIAN, 30 Dec 2009: The arrival of Margaret Thatcher, the Grantham grocer’s daughter, as Britain’s first female prime minister sent shockwaves not only through Whitehall and Westminster but across the world – even if the Japanese did think she needed a crack squad of “karate ladies” to protect her at her first summit.

Today, the cabinet papers from Thatcher’s earliest days in office are finally released under the 30-year rule. The 1979 files provide a fascinating insight into the way she took a grip, first of her ministers, then the country with a pugnacious style that is revealed in hostile handwritten remarks in the margins of previously secret documents.

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