Osborne to toast 'Our Maggie'
Chancellor George Osborne is planning to toast his speech to the Conservative conference in Manchester by downing a bottle of beer brewed in honour of the party's former leader Margaret Thatcher.
The annual conference was opened by a video tribute to Baroness Thatcher, who died in April, and stalls are selling a wide range of memorabilia, from T-shirts and key-rings to mugs and even bibs bearing the slogan "Iron Baby".
Fans of the "Iron Lady" can buy tote bags bearing an image of one of her famous handbags or drink bottles of "Our Maggie" beer.
Mr Osborne told ITV1's Daybreak: "This is the year in which she died and she was probably this country's greatest peacetime Prime Minister. Of course, she was controversial, but I don't think anyone doubts that she made a pretty dramatic difference to the fortunes of this country and turned it around from being the `sick man of Europe'.
"This is an opportunity for the party she led as Britain's first woman Prime Minister to pay tribute to her memory."
Asked if he had tried a pint of Our Maggie, Mr Osborne said: "I haven't had a chance yet, but maybe after I have delivered my speech I will have a pint."
Mr Osborne denied that the focus on the party's leader in the 1970s and 1980s meant that the Tories were looking backwards.
"If you listen to what we are talking about, whether help for the long-term unemployed, help for people getting their house, help for hard-working people across the country, it's all about the future," he said.