The Tory leadership race and the ghost of Margaret Thatcher – podcast

Over the last month, the race to become Conservative party leader has been whittled down from eleven candidates to two. There has been one other figure, however, who has loomed large over the contest: Margaret Thatcher.

While the former chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged to “govern as a Thatcherite”, the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has been forced to deny dressing like the Iron Lady. Both of the remaining candidates have cited Thatcher as the party’s greatest prime minister.

As the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee explains, it all points to a party that, in harking back to a leader who came to power more than 40 years ago, is badly out of touch with Britain in 2022.

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National Archives papers released<br>EMBARGOED TO 0001 TUESDAY JULY 24
File photo dated 4/5/1979 of Margaret Thatcher in a car. Thatcher may have famously survived on just four hours’ sleep a night, but newly released government files suggest she may have made up for it by catnapping in the back of her official car. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday July 24, 2018. Papers released by the National Archives in Kew show officials became so concerned she could suffer an injury if the Daimler was forced to brake while she was nodding off, they arranged for a custom-built headrest to be fitted to protect her See PA story RECORDS Car. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire

Photograph: PA

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