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No repeat of Thatcher's 'mistakes'

The Government must learn from Margaret Thatcher's "mistakes" in the 1980s but chief secretary Danny Alexander has refused to be drawn on whether the former Prime Minister should be honoured with a state funeral.

The senior Liberal Democrat said the Government was working hard to make sure there was no repeat of errors which left a legacy of unemployment.

But speaking on the Sky News Murnaghan programme, Mr Alexander would not be drawn on whether he and his party would support a state funeral when Mrs Thatcher dies.

He said: "Margaret Thatcher's legacy is one which looms large over politics today. It very much looms in Scottish politics too.

"(A state funeral) will be a matter to be considered in due course, I know it is a debate that has been going on.

"I think the important thing is in these debates we are having about executive pay, about the situation in Scotland, about the economic situation for young unemployed people particularly, is that we don't repeat the mistakes that were made in the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.

"Many good things were done for this country during this time.

"I'm not going to get into that issue (of a state funeral). That's something that will no doubt be properly debated in due course. I think that as a country we are facing a very challenging situation this year and over the course of the next few years where we are having to constrain the actions of a wealthy elite who seem disconnected from that reality.

"We are trying to make sure that young unemployed people are not blighted by long periods of unemployment as they were in the 1980s. Lessons we have to learn, not making those mistakes, ones that we do learn and are learning as a coalition Government."

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