Sally Bercow has reportedly snubbed an invitation to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral over her belief that the former Prime Minister instigated a “very greedy and selfish society”.
The Speaker’s wife, who is an outspoken Labour supporter, declined the invitation to the Wednesday service at St Paul’s Cathedral despite the wives of Ed Miliband, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown all being set to attend.
According to The Sunday Times, her husband John Bercow will attend the service with a member of his staff. Mrs Bercow was invited on account of the fact that she is the Speaker’s wife.
Mr Bercow is said to have told organisers he would not be accompanied to the funeral by his wife, asking if he could bring a colleague instead.
Sally Bercow – who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2011 alongside Kerry Katona, Amy Childs and Jedward – has made no secret of her dislike for the Iron Lady and rubbished potential plans for a state funeral in a 2010 BBC radio debate.
“I’m no fan of Margaret Thatcher,” she said. “A lot of people feel very passionately that what she did to the country in many ways wrecked it. To have a state funeral at a cost of three or four million funded by the taxpayer would not be the right thing to do.”
Mrs Bercow continued: “A lot of people feel her reign was marked by social unrest, by high unemployment and she was very divisive… She also ushered in a very greedy and selfish society.”
The Speaker’s wife is set to be rather busy next week. She faces her first high court hearing as part of her libel battle with Lord McAlpine over a tweet that wrongly linked Margaret Thatcher’s former advisor to an allegation of child sex abuse.