Almost 20 years after she was branded the “milk snatcher” for ending the supply of free faculty milk, Margaret Thatcher nonetheless recoiled at reminiscence of the political storm she unleashed, newly launched authorities information reveal.
As schooling secretary in Edward Heath’s authorities her determination in 1970 to cease the supply of milk for junior faculty pupils prompted the playground taunt “Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher”.
Files launched by the National Archives present that 19 years later, Mrs Thatcher – by then prime minister – was horrified when health secretary Ken Clarke proposed lastly ending free milk for nursery schoolchildren as nicely.
“No – this will cause a terrible row – all for £4 million. I know – I went through it 19 years ago,” she scrawled in a handwritten observe.
“Health has enough to do to get the white paper and community proposals through. Any scheme for saving £400 million or more I will look at. But not £4 million.”
The paperwork launched at this time additionally present that former Oxford scholar Margaret Thatcher vowed to “strenuously” resist laws forcing women-only schools to make use of males as fellows.
The Prime Minister confirmed a private curiosity in defending the standing of single-sex Oxbridge schools after it was prompt modifications inspired by the European Commission would forestall them from solely appointing women.
Mrs Thatcher, who studied at all-women school Somerville between 1943 and 1947, branded the plans “absurd” and stated they might “infringe not enlarge liberties”.
The row erupted amid strain for the UK to repeal part 51 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.
The change would have eliminated safety for Oxbridge schools positively discriminating within the recruitment course of.
The Prime Minister acquired assurances from Jacques Delors, then president of the European Commission, that “common sense would prevail” in instances involving Oxbridge schools, in response to an inner Number 10 memo.
In an extra memo on August 28 1987, the Prime Minister stated she would “vigorously” help makes an attempt to make use of authorized powers to protect the standing of all-women’s schools.
The modifications would have affected the standing of the 4 remaining all-women schools – Somerville and St Hilda’s at Oxford University and Newnham and Lucy Cavendish at Cambridge University.
The two Cambridge schools are nonetheless single-sex schools. Somerville accepted males for the primary time in 1994 and St Hilda’s, the final remaining single-sex school in Oxford, turned combined in 2008.