Bury St Edmunds: Lord Tebbit in spotlight

A POLITICAL heavyweight from Margaret Thatcher’s government has been quizzed by young people in front of a theatre audience.

Lord Norman Tebbit, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, made an appearance at the Theatre Royal where he talked about his life, before being asked questions by youngsters from schools in the area.

Lord Tebbit, who is now retired, was a key figure in the Thatcher Government, holding positions of Secretary of State for Employment and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

He started off as a journalist before being called up for military service and after being a pilot in the Royal Air Force, he worked for a publishing company before joining British Overseas Airways.

His disenchantment with Harold Macmillan’s Government set him off on his journey into politics.

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The IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, which injured him and wife Lady Margaret, changed his life, he said, as he decided not to continue with frontline politics and had to take on a caring role with his wife.

Lord Tebbit touched upon growing up and life during the war years – when he and his brother were evacuated to Cardiff – and how it compared to life for young people today.

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Charlotte Harpur from Culford School, near Bury, asked whether he thought the televised leader debates prior to the General Election were personality contests.

He said: “I’m not even sure they were as good as that. I thought they were terribly shallow. I thought they had all the marks of being over-rehearsed and all the marks of people who were desperately anxious not to make any mistakes.”

He remarked how Gordon Brown was a “very decent” man, it was just he was “very nearly always wrong”.

Pupils from King Edward VI School and St Benedict’s Catholic School, both in Bury, also asked questions.

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