Thatcher Resigns

22nd November 1990 Thatcher resigns

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On the 22nd November 1990, Margaret Thatcher Resigned after being Prime Minister for 11 years.

Margaret Thatcher led the Tory party to 3 general election victories, 2 of which were landslides. The Thatcher years covered the whole of the 1980s connecting the end of the 70s to the start of the 90s. The end of the Thatcher era was not via the ballot box with the electorate but through a leadership challenge from within the Conservative party.  The reasons for the eventual downfall could be linked to several items, 2 examples of which; the unpopular Poll Tax which required individuals within a household to pay Council tax instead of the property, Differences of opinion on Europe, the resignation of cabinet minister Geoffrey Howe with his well-known resignation speech in the commons;

it is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease, only for them to find, as the first balls are being bowled, that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain.

The time has come for others to consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties, with which I myself have wrestled for perhaps too long

Margaret Thatcher did not achieve the sufficient number of votes to win the first round, and at first, signaled the will to go through to a second-round vote. This second round, in the end, did not include Margaret Thatcher as she chose to step down, this was after meeting her own cabinet, famously one by one to hear individual views. The debate goes on that this approach enabled descent or honesty to be freely spoken in a one to one setting.

During the Thatcher years some notable events

  • Falklands conflict
  • Big Bang
  • ERM
  • Poll Tax
  • Coal Strike
  • The decline of some industrial
  • The rise of the City of London


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