There is widespread coverage in this morning’s newspapers of yesterday’s ConservativeHome article by Robert Wilson MP. Mr Wilson had suggested that Mr Brown could be accused of behaving in a "shallow, self-serving and unscrupulous way" towards the "elderly", "frail" and "lonely" Margaret Thatcher, who "has difficulty with her memory".
A spokesman for Baroness Thatcher told the Daily Mail that Mr Wilson’s argument was "a silly one." The spokesman continued:
"She has been to No. 10 to see every one of her successors. It was very gracious for the Prime Minister to invite her. It would have been unheard of for her not to accept. I don’t think these comments are helpful to anybody."
A source close to Mr Brown urged David Cameron to discipline Mr Wilson: "She does not deserve to be treated in this way by Conservative MPs. David Cameron should sack him from the front bench."
Another Conservative MP, Gerald Howarth, a close friend of Baroness Thatcher, attempted to plough a middle course. He accused Mr Brown of "nauseating" behaviour and of "trying to cash in on the public affection for Lady Thatcher" but said that it was "inconceivable" that she could have turned the PM’s invitation down.
Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, said: "He claims to be the person who doesn’t believe in spin and yet he cosies up to Lady Thatcher despite opposing everything she did when she was Prime Minister."
Philip Davies is certainly right about that. The Independent has listed some of the things Gordon Brown had previously said about Margaret Thatcher’s time as PM:
"Britain’s first woman prime minister has done conspicuously little for Britain’s women."
"Britain can no longer survive, far less prosper, on the simplicities of Margaret Thatcher’s capitalism."
"Poverty does not concern Mrs Thatcher."
"The Thatcher government has not only failed to prepare our economy for the 1990s but failed to advance our quality of life in the 1980s."
"She plans to eradicate the right to education and the health and social services as we know them."
"As support for Mrs Thatcher’s policies of social division dwindles she will discover that there are simply not enough City speculators without a conscience to keep her in power."
I’ll give the final word to The Sun: "Lady Thatcher was certainly up to monkey business yesterday — visiting a gorilla attraction at London Zoo." LOL!
PS The Telegraph has a picture of Lady Thatcher’s zoo visit.