Thatcher denies 'creepy' Blair jibe

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The Independent Online
A bizarre allegation that Baroness Thatcher had been driven back into the arms of John Major because she found Tony Blair "creepy" was repudiated by sources close to the former Prime Minister last night.

As part of an increasing trend towards selective briefing of Tory newspapers by Conservative spin-doctors, the Sun yesterday carried an "exclusive" report saying: "Lady Thatcher has vowed to end her private war with John Major - because she finds Tony Blair creepy."

It added: "The Iron Lady has agreed to become a secret election weapon by carrying out her own mini-tour of Britain.

"Friends say she is determined to keep Tony Blair out of Downing Street because she is 'repulsed' at the way he has praised her recently."

But last night a source close to Mrs Thatcher volunteered an outright denial of the report. He said it was not her style to be abusive, she had not abused Mr Blair in such a way, and she regarded Mr Blair as someone with "many admirable qualities".

The Sun also revealed that Lady Thatcher would endorse and support Mr Major's campaign for the re-election of a Conservative Government; a point echoed in a Daily Mail report yesterday.

That, as Lady Thatcher's friend told The Independent , was hardly surprising. But the revelation follows an equally bizarre report in The Guardian recently, suggesting that she was preparing to cut her ties with the Conservatives and support Sir James Goldsmith's Referendum Party.

Conservative Central Office has been working hard to ensure that Lady Thatcher, and other potential thorns like John Redwood, is brought back on side for an essential display of unity in the run-up to next year's election.