Former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher admired “buccaneering businessmen” who were prepared to take risks, an inquiry into press standards was told today.
John Major, who succeeded Mrs Thatcher as British Prime Minister in 1990, told the Leveson Inquiry that newspaper proprietors fell into that “buccaneering” category.
Major said Mrs Thatcher’s right-wing views appealed to national newspaper editors and proprietors.
He was speaking after being asked to outline the relationship Mrs Thatcher had with newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Sun.
“I think she admired buccaneering businessmen who were prepared to take risks,” Major told today’s hearing in London. “And that certainly applied to proprietors of newspapers.”
He said Mrs Thatcher’s policies on issues such as trade union reform and Europe appealed to most national newspapers.
“Margaret was probably the most right of centre leader the Conservative Party had had for a long time,” said Major, who left office in 1997.
“I think that appealed to national newspaper editors and proprietors.”