Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, winding up the annual conference of her Conservative Party, today pledged she will be as staunch an ally to the new American President as she has been to Ronald Reagan.
She was speaking in a keynote address received with thunderous applause and chants of “10 more years” from the 4,500 delegates.
Thatcher also urged Britons to maintain a “generous society"--in what was widely seen as an initiative on social issues after nearly a decade of her right-wing economic policies.
Millions of Britons have become richer as a result of Thatcher’s policies, but unemployment has more than doubled, and critics charge that she has encouraged a materialistic, greedy and uncaring society.
Thatcher urged Britons to give more to charity, assist in crime prevention and promised new efforts to preserve the environment.
‘Occupies Common Ground’
At the end of the 45-minute address, delegates waved Union Jacks and the blue flag of the Conservative Party as the convention center in this south England resort echoed with more chants of “10 more years.”
Thatcher, 63, flanked by the party hierarchy, declared: “The Conservative Party occupies the common ground of British politics. . . . And so it has fallen to us to lead Britain into the 1990s. And, who knows, beyond.”
The delegates joined in a traditional chorus of the national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” and the favorite Tory anthem, “Land of Hope and Glory.”
On Britain’s particularly close relationship with the United States in the 1980s while she and Reagan have been in office, Thatcher said Reagan “has rebuilt the strength and confidence of the West--not without a little help--and inspired the democracies to go out and win the battle of ideas.”
“It is vital that Britain and America should always stand together. So the next President of the United States too will have the United Kingdom as a staunch ally.”