Thatcher’s press secretary lashes out at ‘petty’ plans to remove memorial

Sir Bernard Ingham has lashed out at “petty” proposals to replace a plaza dedicated to Margaret Thatcher with a memorial to a gay rights activist.

The Spanish city of Madrid unveiled Margaret Thatcher Plaza just last year – becoming the first such country outside of the UK to pay tribute to the former Conservative PM.

Thatcher’s government passed Section 28, which banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools, and has been much-criticised for its response to the AIDS crisis.

Following the death of Spanish gay rights activist Pedro Zerolo, who passed away last month, there are thought to be proposals to instead dedicate a monument on the site to him.

Sir Bernard Ingham, who served as Thatcher’s press secretary, hit out at the “petty” plans.

He told the Times: “It is the latest in a long list of petty acts by socialist mayors.

“Her name is being removed in favour of a gay rights campaigner but she did more for human rights than most people because if you improve the economy then you give people a better chance.”

Mr Zerolo served as President of two of the country’s most influential gay rights groups – Colectivo Gay de Madrid, and Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales – and is regarded as a hero among the dominant Spanish left for his role in instrumental LGBT reforms.

He had a hand in shaping a number of reforms in the country, including same-sex marriage, which became law in Spain in 2005, and later the country’s gender recognition laws.

Right-wing news site Breitbart complained: “Margaret Thatcher Plaza, the Confederate Flag, or maintaining the Union flag on British Ministries and Embassies is now not simply frowned on by the left, these ‘affectations of a bygone era’ must be culturally edited, regardless of the inconvenient realities of history or centuries old law or protocol.

“The left won’t simply erect their monuments to ‘LGBT activists’, Marxist thinkers or their own political acolytes alongside those of less favoured figures and ideas in the spirit of inclusively they profess to promote, they will do so on the burning rubble of the monuments that once commemorated Western civilisation at its best.”