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16k people sign petition asking for Thatcher's funeral to be privatised

The former British prime minister hasn’t died – but 16,000 people have signed a petition on a UK government website calling for the private sector to bear the cost of her funeral.

Margaret Thatcher outside her London home in November 2010
Margaret Thatcher outside her London home in November 2010
Image: Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

OVER 16,000 PEOPLE have signed a petition to the UK government asking for Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral to be privatised when she dies.

The petition, which is officially under consideration by the government, says that it would be “in keeping with the great lady’s legacy” to have the private sector fund and manage her funeral.

It would be an “ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded,” according to the e-petition.

The British government allows citizens to create e-petitions about anything that the government is responsible for on a dedicated website.

Any petition which reaches over 100,000 signatures may be debated in the House of Commons. As of this morning, the petition, which was set up earlier this week by a user called Scott Morgan, had 16,669 signatures.

Political activists and commentators have taken to Twitter to add their support to the petition, including Alastair Campbell, former director of communications for Tony Blair:

State funerals in Britain are generally reserved for monarchs but may be granted to other major national figures if the monarch so orders. Although it has not been confirmed, the UK government and the monarchy are believed to have discussed plans for a state funeral for Thatcher in recent years.

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Non-royals who have had state funerals include Winston Churchill and William Gladstone.

The full text of the petition reads:

In keeping with the great lady’s legacy, Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders. The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded.

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About the author:

Christine Bohan

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