‘Margaret Thatcher promoted useless, pretty faces’

Margaret Thatcher promoted male politicians she found attractive, even if they were useless, one of her ministers said.

London: The `Iron-Lady` and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher promoted male politicians she found attractive, even if they were "useless", one of her ministers has claimed.

Her Chief Whip David Waddington who was Home Secretary from 1989 to 1990 has claimed that she had a weakness for a "pretty face" and colleagues tried to talk her out of some appointments, the `Daily Mail` reported.

"When it came to discussing ministerial appointments, one thing was quite apparent and that was the Prime Minister liked a pretty face," writes Lord Waddington, in his autobiography `Dispatches From Margaret Thatcher`s Last Home Secretary`.

"Once or twice she had to be discouraged when she wished to see some good-looking fellow promoted who was known to be useless," he writes.

"I am talking of an interesting foible. I am not suggesting for one moment that she was not perfectly capable in the ordinary course of events of picking competent people," he adds.

The 82-year-old peer then singled out a colleague he regarded as over-promoted.

"There was a time when her eyes lighted on a Minister who she talked of as a possible successor," Waddington was quoted by the paper as saying.

"He was a fine-looking chap but no one else thought that he was anything like up to the job," Lord Waddington does not name the Minister, but a possible candidate is former Social Security Secretary John Moore, now Lord Moore of Lower Marsh, who was known for his filmstar looks and was described as a `Thatcher protege` who could eventually replace her, the report said.

However, Lord Waddington told the paper, "I would complain vociferously if you mentioned John Moore`s name in the context to which you refer."

"I do not wish you to attribute to me any names. I only mentioned John Moore because you did," he added.

Lord Moore was not available for comment, the report said.


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