(THATCHER, Margaret.)

Official cabinet photograph, July 1983.

Stock Code: 133384

From Margaret Thatcher's estate

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Margaret Thatcher's own copy of the official cabinet photograph taken 7 July 1983, the first cabinet photograph after her landslide victory in the June 1983 election, signed by herself and every other member of the cabinet. This is one of two signed 1983 cabinet photographs, this in colour, the other in black and white, which were kept by Thatcher until her death in 2013, and here appears on the market for the first time after acquisition directly from her estate.

Thatcher used the election to reshuffle the cabinet, and some faces are noticeable by their absence. Francis Pym had made the mistake in the campaign of saying that landslides did not produce good governments, and was promptly sacked, along with David Howell and Janet Young. Moreover, Thatcher took the opportunity to move the cabinet even further to the right: as she reminisced later, "There was a revolution still to be made, but too few revolutionaries. The appointment of the first cabinet in the new Parliament seemed a chance to recruit some" (Downing Street Years, p. 306). Right-wingers were promoted, most notably Leon Brittan as the new home secretary, and Nigel Lawson as the new chancellor of the exchequer.

The 1983 election was a pivotal moment for the Thatcherite project, with the 144 seat majority the largest since 1945 significantly increasing Thatcher's power and authority both in the cabinet and in parliament. In her estimation, and the estimation of many of her colleagues, her position and ideology had been vindicated; in the coming years her authority would often seem unchallengeable, and she was able to promote policies which had been impossible in her first term. The photograph offers a snapshot of the cabinet at a crucial moment, the point in which the new style of government, completely dominated by Thatcher's personality and beliefs, became firmly entrenched.

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Colour photograph with white mount, printed label at head, framed and glazed in a black wooden frame. Image size: 30 x 38 cm, frame size 48 x 56 cm. Posthumous Margaret Thatcher printed library label pasted on reverse.


In very good condition.


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