In Brief

Margaret Thatcher ‘believed South Africa should be whites-only’

Ex-head of diplomatic service also says former PM distrusted Germany and hated men with moustaches

Margaret Thatcher suggested that South Africa should be a “whites-only state”, distrusted Germany and hated men with moustaches, the UK’s former chief diplomat has alleged.

In excerpts from Sir Patrick Wright’s diary published by the Daily Mail, Wright recalls one conversation with Thatcher: “She opened the conversation by thrusting a newspaper cutting about Oliver Tambo [ANC president] in front of us, saying that it proved that we should not be talking to him…

“She continued to express her views about a return to pre-1910 South Africa, with a white mini-state partitioned from their neighbouring black states.”

When told that this would amount to an extension of apartheid, she responded: “Do you have no concern for our strategic interests?”

Wright also says the former Tory leader favoured a policy of “pushing off” Vietnamese boat people, 70,000 of whom fled the country after the Vietnam War, refusing to allow them to land, The Independent reports.

One recurring theme is Thatcher’s “Germanophobia” - her fear that German-speakers would come to dominate Europe. As a result, she strongly opposed to the reunification of Germany in 1989.

Wright claims Thatcher had a strong dislike of men with moustaches “because they looked like hairdressers”.

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