Britain The Melting of the Iron Lady

Win or lose, Thatcher will find her leadership in doubt and her authority weakened as a result of Heseltine's challenge

A political attack from the mild, mumbling Sir Geoffrey Howe, one of his parliamentary opponents once gibed, was "like being savaged by a dead sheep." Margaret Thatcher might have wished it were so as she sat rigidly, arms folded, in the House of Commons last week, listening to Howe attack her. In a speech explaining his resignation as Deputy Prime Minister earlier this month, he sounded more like a lion, and a very live one at that.

One of the founders of Thatcherism, Howe charged that her resistance to the European Community's economic and political integration was running "serious risks for...

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