Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Plans for statue of Margaret Thatcher in Westminster already underway

A portrait of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is left next to floral tributes outside her residence in Chester Square, London
A portrait of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is left next to floral tributes outside her residence in Chester Square, London
Floral tributes outside Baroness Thatcher's residence in Chester Square, London
Police officers stand guard next to floral tributes outside Baroness Thatcher's residence in Chester Square, London
Flowers laid outside the home of Baroness Thatcher in Belgravia, London following her death this morning after a stroke
Indians look at the sand sculpture of former Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made by Sudarshan Pattnaik, as a mark of homage, at the golden beach of Puri, about 67 kilometers (42 miles) away from the southeastern Indian temple city Bhubaneswar, India, India, Tuesday, 09 April 2013. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)
A letter of condolence outside the home of Baroness Thatcher in Belgravia, London following her death this morning after a stroke
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: Floral tributes outside Baroness Thatcher's residence in Chester Square on April 9, 2013 in London, England. Lord Bell, spokesperson for Baroness Margaret Thatcher, announced in a statement that the former British Prime Minister died peacefully following a stroke yesterday, aged 87. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Messages are displayed in a book of condolence in honour of former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher at the Grantham Museum in her hometown Grantham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 9, 2013. See PA story DEATH Thatcher. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: Floral tributes outside Baroness Thatcher's residence in Chester Square on April 9, 2013 in London, England. Lord Bell, spokesperson for Baroness Margaret Thatcher, announced in a statement that the former British Prime Minister died peacefully following a stroke yesterday, aged 87. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: A detail of a floral tribute left outside the residence of Baroness Thatcher in Chester Square on April 8, 2013 in London, England. It has been confirmed that Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miner’s strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A message is left on a floral tribute outside the birthplace and childhood home of former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher, Grantham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 9, 2013. See PA story DEATH Thatcher. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Republicans take part in a car cavalcade and protest on the Fall Road in west Belfast after the death of Margaret Thatcher
Republicans take part in a car cavalcade and protest on the Fall Road in west Belfast after the death of Margaret Thatcher
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2013 - Republicans take part in a car cavalcade and protest on the Fall Road in west Belfast after the death of Margaret Thatcher. A cavalcade of of cars left Twinbrook Estate, the former home of hungerstrikerf Bobby Sands and made its way to Divis Tower close to Belfast City Centre. The former prime minister died on Monday aged 87 after suffering a stroke while staying at the Ritz hotel in central London. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye .
Republicans take part in a car cavalcade and protest on the Fall Road in west Belfast after the death of Margaret Thatcher
People cheer in front of a banner displaying the message 'The Witch is Dead' as they celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Brixton on April 8, 2013
People gathered last night to celebrate the death of Baroness Thatcher in Brixton, south London
People celebrate the death of Baroness Thatcher in Brixton, south London
Members of the public celebrate in George Square as they mark the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher
People celebrate the death of Baroness Thatcher in Brixton
Crowds gather in Derry's Bogside to 'celebrate' the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Crowds gather in Derry's Bogside to 'celebrate' the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: People celebrate the death of Margaret Thatcher following the announcement of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's death in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: Musicians perform as people celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: People sitting next to graffiti displaying the message 'Coal Not Dole' celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: People pour a drink as others celebrate following the announcement of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's death in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: People hold banners and signs aloft as they celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: A lady poses behind a sign displaying the message 'Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!' as she celebrates the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: People cheer in front of a banner displaying the message 'The Witch is Dead' as they celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: A smoking a cigar and wearing a pirate's hat joins others as they celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: A lady burns the front page of a newspaper displaying an image of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as she and others celebrate her death in Brixton on April 8, 2013 in London, England. Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 08: Members of the public celebrate in George Square to mark the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher on April 8, 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland. It has been confirmed that Lady Thatcher has died this morning following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minster and governed the UK from 1979 to 1990. She led the UK through some turbulent years and contentious issues including the Falklands War, the miners' strike and the Poll Tax riots. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
File photo dated 22/5/89 of Margaret Thatcher fielding questions with Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe (background), at a press conference, in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 8, 2013. Baroness Thatcher died this morning following a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell said. See PA story DEATH Thatcher. Photo credit should read: Martin Keene/PA Wire
File photo dated 10/2/05 of Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the Churchill Museum Opening, Cabinet War Rooms, London
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI, wearing his Saturn hat, greets former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **
File photo dated 11/05/83 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher receiving Soviet writer Aleksander Solzhenitsyn at No 10 Downing Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION photo. Issue date: Monday August 4, 2008. Tributes were being paid today to Nobel-prize winning author and Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who has died aged 89. Solzhenitsyn, whose books chronicled the horrors of the Soviet gulag system, died last night of heart failure, according to his son Stepan. See PA Story DEATH Solzhenitsyn. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
File photo dated 14/11/04 of Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair during the annual National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 8, 2013. Baroness Thatcher died this morning following a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell said. See PA story DEATH Thatcher. Photo credit should read: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire
File photo dated 24/10/2000 of former Conservative Prime Ministers Sir Edward Heath and Baroness Thatcher check their watches as they listen to the debate at the Conservative Party Conference annual conference in Bournemouth. Baroness Thatcher died this morning following a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 8, 2013. See PA story DEATH Thatcher. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire
FILE - APRIL 8: Lord Bell, spokesperson for Baroness Margaret Thatcher, announced in a statement that the former British Prime Minister died peacefully following a stroke aged 87. November 1976: Conservative party leader Margaret Thatcher makes a 'victory' sign outside her home in Chelsea, London. (Photo by John Minihan/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
FILE - APRIL 8: Lord Bell, spokesperson for Baroness Margaret Thatcher, announced in a statement that the former British Prime Minister died peacefully following a stroke aged 87. October 1985: British prime minister Margaret Thatcher looking pensive at the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
FILE - APRIL 8: Lord Bell, spokesperson for Baroness Margaret Thatcher, announced in a statement that the former British Prime Minister died peacefully following a stroke aged 87. British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street, London, at the start of her third term in office. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
FILE - APRIL 8: Lord Bell, spokesperson for Baroness Margaret Thatcher, announced in a statement that the former British Prime Minister died peacefully following a stroke aged 87. Margaret Hilda Thatcher, nee Roberts, as the Conservative candidate for Dartford, Kent, and before she married husband Denis. (Photo by Chris Ware/Getty Images)
1980: (FILE PHOTO) Baroness Margaret Thatcher, 85, Britain's Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, Reports on April 8, 2013 state that Baroness Thatcher has died following a stroke.. British Conservative politician and first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher speaks at the Tory Party Conference on in Brighton, East Sussex circa 1980. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
1985: (FILE PHOTO) Baroness Margaret Thatcher, 85, Britain's Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, Reports on April 8, 2013 state that Baroness Thatcher has died following a stroke.. Please refer to the following profile on Getty Images Archival for further imagery. http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=108930459&EditorialProduct=Archival British prime minister Margaret Thatcher holds a chimpanzee in 1985. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
File photo dated 08/11/05 of Margaret Thatcher at the memorial service for former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, at Westminster Abbey in central London. Baroness Thatcher died this morning following a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 8, 2013. See PA story DEATH Thatcher. Photo credit should read: Chris Young/PA Wire

Planners are understood to be looking at Parliament Square in Westminster as a potential site for a new statue of Baroness Thatcher.

Senior figures including Boris Johnson and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond have indicated support for a new monument to the former prime minister in the heart of the capital.

A spokesman for the London mayor said it would be a "fitting honour for the greatest peacetime prime minister of the 20th century".

David Cameron has welcomed the suggestions, but insisted now is not the time to make a decision.

Sources have played down the prospect of the statue going on the vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square, pointing out it is already successfully hosting artworks.

Len Duvall, leader of the Labour group on the London Assembly, has warned that that location would be "inappropriate" and "crass triumphalism".

Instead, the mayor's office, Westminster Council and Government are looking at a variety of central London sites, including Parliament Square.

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