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MP says Mrs Thatcher not worth losing May Day for

Ian Lang and Tom Clarke (right) looking through a huge roll of metal at Ravenscraig in Lanarkshire in 1987.

Ian Lang and Tom Clarke (right) looking through a huge roll of metal at Ravenscraig in Lanarkshire in 1987.

Bellshill MP Tom Clarke refused to help abolish May Day when he first entered Parliament in 1983 and has no plans to do so now.

Especially if the bank holiday is scrapped in order to honour Margaret Thatcher, who died last April.

A group of Conservative MPs have submitted a private members’ bill wishing to honour the former Prime Minister by doing away with the May Day and replacing it with a bank holiday in August in her name.

Mrs Thatcher became a hugely unpopular figure in Scotland as a result of policies which included the privatisation of British Steel in 1988 which paved the way for the closure of Ravenscraig four years later.

Mr Clarke, who also represents Coatbridge and Chryston and was the then MP for Monklands West, met with Mrs Thatcher to persuade her to change Government policy when the Gartcosh steel mill was due for closure in 1986.

He said: “I shall most definitely not be supporting this bill.

“It is slightly ironic that the first ever bill I had to vote on in the Parliament was Tory MPs attempting to get rid of May day and here we are again.

“I resisted it then and I’ll resist it now, especially if it is to honour Mrs Thatcher of whom there are very few positive memories of in Lanarkshire.”

 

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