Ex-’Craig man Frank says no to Maggie day

The loss of Ravenscraig is still felt locally to this day.
The loss of Ravenscraig is still felt locally to this day.

A former Ravenscraig worker who lost his job when the steelworks closed will not be supporting plans for Margaret Thatcher Day.

Following several years of poor health, Mrs Thatcher died last April at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke.

A group of Conservative MPs want to honour the former Prime Minister by doing away with the May Day bank holiday and replacing it with one in August in her name.

A private members’ bill has been submitted to the Parliament, however it has proved unpopular with the public with nearly 40,000 people so far signing an e-petition on the Government’s website against it.

In order for the petition to be considered as part of the debate when the bill reaches the chamber it will need 100,000 signatures.

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

Although she was not in power when the steelworks closed, having been ousted by John Major, she was seen as being responsible when 1,200 were put of out work.

Among them was Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy who is contemptuous of any suggestion a day should be named in Mrs Thatcher’s honour.

He said: “I have absolutely no intention of supporting a bill which celebrates the life of someone who brought so much despair and misery to my constituents.

“I also find it slightly ironic that the plan is to replace May Day, a holiday that is suppose to celebrate workers, with one to celebrate Margaret Thatcher.”

Wellingborough and Rushden MP Peter Bone who first came up with the bill for Margaret Thatcher Day has defended it.

He said: “Most people in this country regard Mrs Thatcher as the greatest peacetime Prime Minister, certainly in the last century.

“And it seems an appropriate way to remember her by having a bank holiday – a Margaret Thatcher Day.

“It seems a perfectly reasonable, straightforward and uncontroversial measure. I think it would be a nice tribute.”

Anyone who wishes to make their voice heard against Margaret Thatcher Day can do so by visiting e-petitions