Conservatives criticise 'hateful' portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Crown

Tory MPs criticised the show's creators over their depiction of Mrs Thatcher. (Netflix/YouTube)

Prominent Conservatives have criticised hit Netflix show The Crown over its portrayal of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Tory MPs and activists voiced their concern over the historical drama, which follows Thatcher's premiership during the Troubles in the 1970s and during the Falklands War.

Gillian Anderson stars as Thatcher in season four of the hit show, which some commentators claim shows her in a "hateful" light.

Tory activist and founder of the ConservativeHome website Tim Montgomerie tweeted: "I can't bear to watch any more of The Crown and its absurd, hateful portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. Such a shame."

While Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen slammed the show's creators for suggesting the disappearance of Thatcher's son Mark in 1982 affected her decision to go to invade the Falklands in the same year.

"Utter rubbish. If there was ever a just war it was the Falklands War," Bridgen told MailOnline.

"They are painting a picture of Mrs Thatcher and that period for a generation who don't remember what it was like to live through the horrors perpetrated by these terrorists.

"People lived in fear, especially in cities like Birmingham, where people were frightened to go out after so many people were murdered by the brutal IRA in the pub bombings."

It comes after Peter Morgan, creator of The Crown, was forced to defend making up scenes with the Prince of Wales and his beloved great-uncle Lord Mountbatten.

Charles Dance's Lord Mountbatten admonishes Josh O'Connor's Charles for his pursuit of Camilla, who at the time was married to Andrew Parker Bowles.

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Margaret Thatcher's life
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Margaret Thatcher's life
Margaret Thatcher, sporting a sweater bearing the flags of European nations, in Parliament Square during her 'Yes to Europe' campaign.
Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative conference in Blackpool on 13 October 1989, a stressful year amid high inflation and the introduction of the poll tax.
Margaret Thatcher (left) with Nigel Lawson at a Conservative party conference in October 1989. Photograph: ReutersNigel Lawson may claim that Brexit is finishing the job that Margaret Thatcher started but the prime minister was infuriated by his 1989 resignation, her newly released personal papers reveal.For the Conservatives, it was a year which had uncanny parallels with today – a prime minister facing questions about her leadership, a party split over Europe and the threat of cabinet resignations over the issue.Thatcher would survive the year but the resignation of Lawson in October, over the influence of her economic adviser Alan Walters, came, in hindsight, to be seen as the beginning of the end for the Iron Lady.Lawson was at loggerheads with Thatcher and Walters over the exchange rate mechanism (ERM). The then chancellor was – ironically given his current status as a staunch Brexiter – the only one of the trio who wanted the country to join the ERM, although he was motivated by a desire to control inflation rather than strengthening bonds with Britain’s European partners.Thatcher recorded his departure in a private memo in terse terms: “Early Thursday morning – hair set 8-8.30 Andrew [Turnbull] came up to say Nigel Lawson wanted to see me. Went down 8.50 …“The reason for his visit – which he had considered very carefully – was that unless I agreed to sack Alan Walters, he would hand in his resignation as chancellor. This seemed to me an absurd, indeed reprehensible proposition … in my view no one could possibly resign on the basis of such a flimsy and unworthy proposal.”She said she urged him to think again, concluding: “I then put the matter out of my mind.”The papers reveal that the following month she told the Sun’s editor at the time, Kelvin MacKenzie, in an off-the-record interview, that after taking a comforting “we love you” call from her children on the day of the resignation, in characteristic no-nonsense fashion she then prepared supper for her and her husband, Denis: “Someone’s got to do it … I just had to get on.”But Chris Collins, a historian at the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, said the PM’s anger came through in her memo, in contrast with her public stance, in which she affected bafflement. “She would have loved to have really punched hard, I think,” he said.The resignation prompted the first leadership challenge to Thatcher – by the little-known backbencher Anthony Meyer – which Collins says created the conditions for the epoch-ending contest, less than a year later, in which she would face the more formidable figure of Michael Heseltine.Collins said: “You can see that events in 1990 would not have happened as they did had it not been for 1989 ... The Lawson resignation is actually the one that makes [Geoffery] Howe’s resignation so damaging.”In June of 1989, Howe had teamed up with Lawson for the “Madrid ambush”, when Thatcher’s then chancellor and foreign secretary threatened to resign if she refused to state a date for Britain joining the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM).She did not accede and although they did not quit immediately, when they did – Howe, then deputy prime minister, resigned in November 1990 – it would ultimately have devastating consequences for her.Her papers provide an insight into what she thought of the Madrid ambush, with Thatcher writing that two of her aides were “appalled” by the manoeuvrings of her cabinet colleagues.By contrast to the ERM, Thatcher was a fan of the single market. Little could she have suspected that a “runner” named David Cameron – appearing for the fist time in her personal papers in 1989 - writing briefs on the benefits of the single market, would ultimately pave the way for the UK’s possible exit from it.Other fires Thatcher was fighting in 1989, such as NHS reform and the need to build more houses, also resonate 30 years on, but some, like privatisation, high interest rates and the despised poll tax, were of their time.Having said that, Thatcher’s determination to plough on with the poll tax, despite grim evidence of its impact, chimes with Theresa May’s steadfast commitment to universal credit in the face of warnings from, among others, John Major, who has likened the two policies to one another.The papers show she was harangued by backbenchers about the community charge and shown an analysis of its impact on several streets in her constituency, stating that two-person households stood to lose an average of £172 each.Another confidential report into 10 marginal seats suggested losers would outnumber winners by more than four to one on even the most optimistic assumption.Faced with numerous troubles, in words that might provide succour to May, the Iron Lady told MacKenzie: “What matters is not the bad days but how you pick yourself up and recover.”• The papers can be viewed from Monday at Cambridge University’s Churchill Archives Centre and hundreds will go online at www.margaretthatcher.org.
Margaret Thatcher received 'nutrimental capsules' from the novelist 'in case you ever feel tired'.
She may have been the no-nonsense grocer’s daughter who became the steely Iron Lady of No 10, but newly released papers throw a fascinating light on Margaret Thatcher’s interest in alternative medicines and bizarre therapies.
The government is riven by the question of Europe, the Prime Minister is at odds with key members of her Cabinet and at the same time faces threats to her leadership. Sounds familiar?
Margaret Thatcher received 'nutrimental capsules' from the novelist 'in case you ever feel tired'.
She may have been the no-nonsense grocer’s daughter who became the steely Iron Lady of No 10, but newly released papers throw a fascinating light on Margaret Thatcher’s interest in alternative medicines and bizarre therapies.
The government is riven by the question of Europe, the Prime Minister is at odds with key members of her Cabinet and at the same time faces threats to her leadership. Sounds familiar?
The government is riven by the question of Europe, the Prime Minister is at odds with key members of her Cabinet and at the same time faces threats to her leadership. Sounds familiar?
Controversial plans for statue of Margaret Thatcher on 10ft-high plinth approved
File photo dated 03/05/89 of Margaret Thatcher was apparently fond of alternative health cures and was sent them by prolific romance author Dame Barbara Cartland. The Margaret Thatcher Foundation is gradually releasing her private files through the Churchill Archives Centre.
File photo dated 13/10/88 of Chancellor Nigel Lawson, (right) applauded by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who branded Lawson's indication that he would resign as Chancellor of the Exchequer "an absurd proposition", a newly-released note describing the moment he told her reveals.
File photo dated 19/03/1982 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the late Lord Carrington, whose friends and colleagues have been paying tribute to him at Westminster Abbey in London.
File photo dated 16/11/1990 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher talking to a member of the Royal Irish Rangers outside the border check point at Derryad in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
File photo dated 1/6/1989 of Prime Margaret Thatcher and George HW Bush outside 10 Downing Street. The former US president has died aged 94.
Embargoed to 0001 Friday December 28 File photo dated 06/09/1981 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband Denis in a car during their stay with the Queen at Balmoral. Mrs Thatcher often did not have a secure communication link to Downing Street when she was away from London, newly-released government documents show.
(EDITORS NOTE: Image was created using a variable planed lens.) . General view of the coffin of Baroness Thatcher during her funeral at St Paul's Cathedral in central London.
Margaret Thatcher holds up a "I love Maggie" t-shirt at the Conservative Party Conference exhibition in Blackpool.
TVAM's Timmy Mallett and Margaret Thatcher.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in a light-hearted mood on election day morning taking a position behind the lens for a change. Mrs Thatcher was on a vote-catching trip around her Finchley constituency.
Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, as she is rarely seen in public, in spectacles.
The Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher meeting members of the rescue services during her visit to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary today after seeing victims of the Piper Alpha Disaster. She announced that the Government was giving £1,000,000 to the Piper Alpha Disaster Fund.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, waist-deep in blackcurrant bushes, brings the agricultural scene into focus during a visit to Appleford Farm, Rivenhall, near Witham, East Anglia.
The Prime Minister Mrs. Margaret Thatcher stands of an empty stretch of motorway - the 'missing link' of the M25 - which she opened at Radlett, Hertfordshire.
A library file picture of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher giving a speech during the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with French President Francois Mitterrand at the Chapter House, Canterbury Cathedral, when the Channel Fixed Link Treaty was signed by the foreign secretaries.
10th JUNE: On this day in 1983 Margaret Thatcher won a landslide victory to start her second term of power. The window of success frames the jubilant Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher waving to well-wishers after her election win. At Tory Party headquarters, she told flag-waving supporters "My victory is greater than I had dared to hope".
Mrs Margaret Thatcher examining a minefield during her visit to the Falkland Islands when the Royal Engineers took her on a tour of the Rookery Bay beach, a heavily mined area.
A sombre looking Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during today's Law and Order debate at the Conservative Party Conference, Brighton.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher talks to BBC Panorama interviewers Richard Lindley (right) and Robert Kee a the programme regarding the Falklands War went live from the Whip's Office at 10 Downing Street, London.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the 1982 Conservative Party Conference, in discussion with the Home Secretary William Whitelaw. 10/1/88: Whitelaw resigns as Deputy PM following a mild stroke. 1/7/99: Lord Whitelaw dies, aged.
Conservative party leader Margaret Thatcher with 16 year old Rother Valley schoolboy William Hague, after he received a standing ovation from delegates at the Tory party conference in Blackpool.
The Lady in Red chiffon, that's Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher at her London home last night prior to leaving for last night's meeting with her constituents at Finchley, north London.
Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher, at working her office at the House of Commons.
Conservative party leader Margaret Thatcher, during a visit to Walsall North to support Conservative by-election candidate Robin Hodgson (behind wearing rosette), takes the lead of a bulldog during a walkabout.
Margaret Thatcher learns of her outright victory in the second ballot for the Conservative Partyleadership.
Margaret Thatcher, spokesperson on Education in the Conservative Shadow Cabinet, at the Houses of Parliament.
Twenty six-year-old Margaret Roberts (Thatcher to be), MA, BSc, Conservative candidate for Dartford, who was the youngest woman candidate in any party in the last election, is pictured when she commenced her canvassing campaign in her constituency. Miss Roberts, who is considered the best looking of the Tory women candidates, is also reading for the Bar in her spare time. In this picture she is seen talking with a local housewife on 4th October 1951.
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Viewers see the older man writing a letter warning Charles he is in danger of bringing "ruin and disappointment" to the family.

On the show, the prince only reads the note after the IRA assassinated Lord Mountbatten in August 1979.

While no record of the letter exists, Morgan believes the interaction to be based in truth.

Speaking on the show's official podcast, he said: "What we know is that Mountbatten was really responsible for taking Charles to one side at precisely this point and saying, 'Look, you know, enough already with playing the field, it's time you got married and it's time you provided an heir'.

"As the heir I think there was some concern that he should settle down, marry the appropriate person and get on with it."

Criticism of The Crown has often focused on its portrayal of made up events. The show employs researchers but Morgan defended his right to creative freedom.

He said: "In my own head I thought that would have even greater impact on Charles if it were to come post-mortem, as it were. I think everything that's in that letter that Mountbatten writes to Charles is what I really believe, based on everything I've read and people I've spoken to, that represents his view.

"We will never know if it was put into a letter, and we will never know if Charles got that letter before or after Mountbatten's death, but in this particular drama, this is how I decided to deal with it."

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Stars of The Crown
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Stars of The Crown
Emma Corrin as Diana in The Crown. (Netflix)
Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles in The Crown. (Netflix)
Emma Corrin as Diana in The Crown. (Netflix)
Emma Corrin as Diana in The Crown. (Netflix)
Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in 'The Crown'. (Netflix/Sophie Mutevelian)
Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies in The Crown. (Netflix)
Olivia Colman, a cast member in the Netflix series "The Crown," poses at a gala screening of the show at the 2019 AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Gillian Anderson, a cast member in the Netflix series "The Crown," poses at a gala screening of the show at the 2019 AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Erin Doherty, a cast member in the Netflix series "The Crown," poses at a gala screening of the show at the 2019 AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Peter Morgan, left, the creator/writer/executive producer of the Netflix series "The Crown," poses with cast member John Lithgow at a gala screening of the show at the 2019 AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Peter Morgan, center, the creator/writer/executive producer of the Netflix series "The Crown," poses with cast members Helena Bonham Carter, left, and Olivia Colman at a gala screening of the show at the 2019 AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Josh O'Connor, a cast member in the Netflix series "The Crown," poses at a gala screening of the show at the 2019 AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 file photo, actors Claire Foy, left, and Matt Smith pose for photographers on arrival at the premiere of the series 'The Crown, Season 2' in central London. Producers of the Netflix drama "The Crown" apologized Tuesday to actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith over the revelation that Foy was paid less than her male co-star. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP, File)
Actresses Claire Foy, left, and Vanessa Kirby pose for photographers on arrival at the premiere of the Netflix series 'The Crown: Season 2' in London, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Charles Dance, Erin Doherty, Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Morgan, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies and Josh O’Connor attend AFI Fest: The Crown & Peter Morgan Tribute at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 16, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Netflix)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Jason Watkins, Tobias Menzies and Josh O'Connor attend the World Premiere of Netflix Original Series "The Crown" Season 3 at The Curzon Mayfair on November 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Tobias Menzies, Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter attend the World Premiere of Netflix Original Series "The Crown" Season 3 at The Curzon Mayfair on November 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: Harry Treadaway attends the World Premiere of Netflix Original Series "The Crown" Season 3 at The Curzon Mayfair on November 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
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