Flag tribute for Margaret Thatcher

THE council will be flying the town hall’s flag at half-mast on Wednesday following the death of former Primer Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The move comes after the authority’s Conservative leader Cllr Robert Cooke called for councillors from both parties to pay their respects.

Initially the Labour-run council was not going to fly the flag half-mast, prompting Cllr Cooke to brand that decision as ‘absolutely appalling’.

Baroness Thatcher’s death on Monday has divided the country, with some communities up north shedding no tears, blaming the ex-PM for allowing the UK’s manufacturing industry to crumble. Impromptu parties have also been held in cities like Glasgow by the left.

Cllr Cooke said: “I would be the first to admit that Margaret Thatcher’s policies were controversial but that does not take away the achievements she made for our country.

“She led the country against war when a Fascist dictatorship took over the Falkland Islands and contributed to ending the Cold War. No one can deny that she was a public servant of great talent and patriotism. These are achievements that should be recognised.”

Kevin Boorman, council spokesman, said: “Under protocol from the College of Arms, in the case of the death of a PM or ex-PM Union flags at half-mast will only apply if the Queen declares an official period of state mourning. Flags can also be lowered for the day ‘on specific command from the Queen’.

“We have received further advice from the College of Arms, and can confirm that the Union flag will be flown from the town hall at half-mast on the day of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral next Wednesday.”