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THATCHER, Margaret.

Autograph letter signed, the day before she was elected Leader of the Conservative Party.

10 February 1975 Stock Code: 142141
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Autograph letter signed from Margaret Thatcher, dated 10 February 1975, the day prior to her election as Leader of the Conservative Party - and thus Leader of the Opposition - on 11 February.

Sent to Joan Pashley in Luton, Thatcher writes "Dear Mrs. Pashley, Thank you for your kind letter. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. You managed everything beautifully. Yours sincerely, Margaret Thatcher". Thatcher had visited the Luton Lecture Club at Luton Town Hall on 3 February 1975, delivering a speech on the economy, and the need to halt inflation, reduce borrowing, and balance public expenditure.

That Thatcher took the time to write a thank you letter during the tumultuous days of her leadership bid is emblematic of her character, always prioritizing cordiality and politeness over politics and work. Thatcher's election to the Conservative Party leadership the following day, controversially ousting the ten-year incumbent and former Prime Minister Edward Heath, marked the first occasion a woman had led a major British political party.

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Autograph letter signed (210 x 149 mm), on her embossed House of Commons letterhead, with the original envelope, franked 11 February 1975.


Light handling creasing yet in excellent condition, light soiling to envelope.


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