Margaret Thatcher was warned 30 years ago that there was a “grave risk” of a public scandal over MPs' expenses.
Ministers feared abuse of the system could be so serious that some MPs could face prosecution.
Bad news for good news plan
Mrs Thatcher had to abandon plans for a “good news” campaign because there was no good news to celebrate.
Press secretary Bernard Ingham wrote to tell her: “The more I have thought about it, the less I am attracted in 1980 with a campaign unified by the word ‘good'.”
Foreign briefings were in the pink
Margaret Thatcher's aristocratic Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington insisted that his officials should always present his briefings on pink paper.