Thatcher spares a Major attack

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 October, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 October, 1993, 12:00am

JOHN Major has been brought to book.

Extracts from Lady Thatcher's memoirs, published yesterday by The Sunday Times and poached by several other UK newspapers, paint an unflattering picture of Mr Major, her successor as prime minister.

But although portrayed as an ideological drifter with a weak personality, Lady Thatcher's much sought-after opinion of Mr Major is more complimentary than believed.

The Daily Mirror, a traditional supporter of the opposition Labour Party, leaked so-called excerpts last week to coincide with the annual Conservative Party conference which were far more hard-hitting and, apparently, less accurate.

Lady Thatcher admits in The Sunday Times that he was not first choice for the Chancellor's job, preferring the late Nicholas Ridley. But she says she liked Mr Major and was ''genuinely delighted'' when he succeeded her.

For Hong Kong's first glimpse of The Downing Street Years, don't miss this weekend's Sunday Morning Post and the start of an exclusive serialisation of the memoirs.

In the book, she sheds new light on the negotiations with China over Hong Kong and reveals what happened at her 1982 meeting with Deng Xiaoping.