A statue of Margaret Thatcher, a former anti-LGBTQ+ British prime minister, was egged by a man. (Getty Images/Screen capture via Twitter/@DesignsBarnes)
A £300,000 memorial to former anti-LGBTQ+ British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was egged and booed at within two hours of its unveiling.
To little ceremony or applause, the granite statue of the “Iron Lady” and Tory Tyrant was lowered in her hometown of Grantham, Lincolnshire 7am Sunday morning (15 May).
It was placed above a 10-foot high plinth to deter vandals, making it tower at a terrifying 20 feet.
And to absolutely nobody’s surprise, since-deleted footage on Twitter captured the moment a man holding a carton of eggs hurled eggs at the statue from behind a temporary fence in front of jaw-dropped onlookers two hours later.
A second man arrived to the scene wearing a t-shirt reading: “Coal not dole.”
Motorists shout ‘tear it down’ at statue of anti-LGBTQ+ prime minister Margaret Thatcher
But again, neither are in no way surprising – and Tory councillors saw it coming.
Originally intended for Parliament Square in Westminster, the monument was instead moved to Grantham out of fears a “motivated far-left movement” would take aim at it, Lincolnshire Police warned in 2018.
When a sprawling £100,000 unveiling ceremony was approved by South Kesteven District Council in 2020, more than 13,000 people on Facebook signalled their intent to take part in an “egg-throwing content” at the opening.
The council responded by installing a surveillance camera opposite the statue, designed by sculptor Graham Jennings. It was to be placed in between statues of Sir Isaac Newton and Frederick Tollemache in the town’s Civic Quarter.
Work is under way in Grantham this morning to install a memorial to commemorate Grantham’s most famous daughter, Margaret Thatcher.
The 10.5ft memorial is being placed on a granite plinth in the heart of the town. pic.twitter.com/QjRZTOpfPt
— South Kesteven District Council (@southkesteven) May 15, 2022
Eggs weren’t the only thing lobbed at the figure, though. Motorists booed at the bust as they drove past. “Tear it down,” one shouted. “This is no good for Grantham, is it?” another added.
In February 2019, a South Kesteven planning committee voted in favour of the pricey statute after Westminister Council rejected the plan.
Westminster Council expressed fears that a 2002 attack on a marble statue of Thatcher in London’s Guildhall Art Gallery could take place again. The figure was battered by a cricket bat and decapitated with a metal bar by a protester later jailed for three months.
Before the monument was erected, just a single plaque on the corner of North Parade and Broad Street was the only tribute to Thatcher in Grantham.
Now the town has what councillor Kelham Cooke, Conservative leader of South Kesteven council, says is a fitting tribute to Thatcher.
“We must never hide from our history, and this memorial will be a talking point for generations to come,” he tweeted.
Indeed, who could forget the legacy of Thatcher. The divisive and hotheaded leader was known for her notorious anti-LGBTQ+ views that informed her slow-moving response to the AIDS crisis that tore through Britain during her prime ministership.
She also gave Britain Section 28, a deeply loathed legislation all but silenced a generation of LGBTQ+ people and stunted progress for decades by outlawing the mere promotion of homosexuality by local authorities and schools.