Margaret Thatcher privately praised Tony Blair over his support for the US after the 9/11 attacks, according to newly released government files.
“You will have found, as I did, that just as one international crisis subsides, another soon threatens,” she wrote in a handwritten note dated 4 April 2002, seven months after al-Qaida passenger jet hijackers carried out four suicide attacks, including on the Twin Towers in New York City.
“I greatly admire the resolve you are showing. You have ensured that Britain is known as a staunch defender of liberty, and as a loyal ally of America. That is the very best reputation our country can have.”
She signed off: “With all good wishes, Margaret T.”
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown was also an ardent supporter of Blair’s stance, emailing the Labour prime minister to say: “Heavens – what a wonderful speech. Just what the country needed. It will have daunted your enemies, thrilled your friends and comforted those who doubt.”
The files, released to the National Archives also include a letter to Blair from the Tory former defence minister Sir John Stanley, written just days after 9/11, warning of the need to prepare for an imminent terrorist attack in the UK using weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Stanley wrote: “I wish to urge most strongly that your government bases its security, civil defence and intelligences resourcing and deployment policies on the assumption that a terrorist WMD attack on one or more of the centres of population in the UK will be attempted and attempted in the near and foreseeable future.
“The vulnerability of British people, particularly those living in urban areas, to terrorist attack is, I suspect, all too great.”
In response, Blair said that while he shared Stanley’s concerns and had ordered a security review, the greatest threat remained a conventional attack.
Source : The Guardian