Thatcher would have handled Brexit better than May, says House of Cards author

Margaret Thatcher would not have brought Britain “anywhere near this mess” over Brexit, and could have handled negotiations with the European Union better than Theresa May, Lord Dobbs has said.

The author of the House of Cards novels, which later inspired TV adaptations in Britain and the US, said she would have “sliced through (European Commission) President (Jean-Claude) Juncker with a smile”.

The novelist, who is now a Conservative peer, worked closely with the late Baroness Thatcher during her time in government in the 1980s, although never as an MP.

Lord Dobbs
Lord Dobbs, Conservative peer and author of the House of Cards trilogy (Ian West/PA)

He held a series of backroom jobs in the Conservative Party and was regarded as a skilled adviser to Baroness Thatcher and former prime minister John Major.

His trilogy follows the career of an ambitious government whip, Francis Urquhart.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Lord Dobbs said: “What would she [Thatcher] have done today as we stagger around in this endless game of blind man’s Brexit?

“She would have turned from her famous ‘No! No! No!’ to ‘Now! Now! Now!’,” he said.

Ian Richardson
Ian Richardson played Francis Urquhart, Lord Dobbs’ Machiavellian chief whip (PA)

“She would have sliced through President Juncker with a smile.

“She would have put her neck on the line and risked reputation and career, just as she did with the miners’ strike, the Falklands War and the rest.

“Anyway, I can’t imagine she would have got us anywhere near this mess in the first place.”

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