Thatcher makes the Stones respectable

It was the meeting that at one time would have been totally unthinkable - Margaret Thatcher entertaining the Rolling Stones to tea and biscuits in her hotel suite.

Time was when the Stones were seen as anti-establishment rebels and almost a threat to the national way of life.

But more than three decades in the industry, Mick Jagger and the band could hardly have a more official stamp of approval.

After spending time chatting with Jagger and Charlie Watts in her hotel suite in Hawaii a few weeks ago, Baroness Thatcher declared the Stones "a great British export".

Details of the meeting were confirmed yesterday by a spokeswoman for Lady Thatcher who said: "She was delighted to have them up to her hotel room during a visit to Hawaii where she was attending a conference." However, the spokeswoman could not confirm reports that Jagger and Watts had left the room converted Thatcherites. "You'll have to ask them about that," she said.