Plans for statue of Margaret Thatcher at Westminster rejected

Westminster Council said there was a lack of support from her family

Plans for statue of Margaret Thatcher at Westminster rejected

Margaret Thatcher is seen at a European Union summit in Dublin Castle in June 1990 | Image: RollingNews.ie

Plans for a statue of Margaret Thatcher near the UK Houses of Parliament in London have been rejected over its design and a lack of approval from her family.

Westminster Council unanimously turned down the design for the 1.5-times lifesize statue - and suggested a handbag should feature in any revised design.

The plan was to have Mrs Thatcher in her House of Lords robes, but this was said not to do justice to her achievement in becoming the UK's first female prime minister.

In a statement, the council said: "The council has decided to refuse the current application for a statue of Baroness Thatcher in Parliament Square."

Its chairman of planning, Richard Beddoe, said: "The lack of family support and the committee's concerns around the design of the proposed statue were the key determining factors in turning down this application.

"As our country’s first female Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher is a hugely significant figure in British history and in principle the council is in favour of a statue commemorating her in Parliament Square, but it must be the right statue, with an appropriate design and the support of her family.

British Houses of Parliament at Westminster, London | File photo

"The so called '10 year rule' was not a reason for refusal in this case.

"We would welcome future proposals for a more appropriate statue of Baroness Thatcher, depicting her as Prime Minister, rather than the current design that shows her in the House of Lords and one that has clear and public support of her family."

The 10-year-rule says a person must have been dead for a decade before a statue of them is erected.

However, the council said Mrs Thatcher was a special case.

Mrs Thatcher's daughter, Carol, reportedly opposed the design because no handbag was included. The Conservative leader was famous for her selection of bags.

Other famous figures commemorated beside the London Houses of Parliament include Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George.

Mrs Thatcher was prime minister of Britain between 1979 and 1990, and died in 2013 aged 87.