A BIG Brother star has told how Margaret Thatcher inspired her to appear on the reality show – and claimed the former prime minister inspired her “inner strength”.
Model Sara McLean, 23, said she wept when she heard of Baroness Thatcher’s passing and credits the Iron Lady for helping her deal with the death of her father Colin from cancer.
The Newington girl, who often expressed admiration for the Royal family during her stint on Big Brother, in which she came fourth, intends to wear blue for tomorrow’s funeral in honour of her idol.
She said: “Everything I do in my life, I’ve always made decisions with Mrs Thatcher in mind.
“You could even say she inspired and influenced my decision to go on Big Brother.
“She was so strong that she helped me deal with so much, including the death of my father from cancer.
“I’ve tried to be strong too, and stick to my guns on what I believe is right, like she did. Mrs T inspired me to have a strong opinion and to voice it. I don’t think I could have achieved what I have without her inspiration.”
Miss McLean was born in April 1990, just seven months before Mrs Thatcher was ousted from Downing Street in a cabinet coup, but she said the former premier’s deeds and influence created a platform for ambitious women.
“My parents brought me up after being part of the Thatcher generation,” she said. “And when I was about 16, I started to read about politics and took a big interest in what she did.
“I wonder if there had been no Mrs T whether the likes of Karren Brady, Michelle Mone, Spice Girls and Girls Aloud would have ever had a platform to succeed. Maggie took on the IRA, Argentina, unions and Neil Kinnock. She defied and beat them all.”
The former St Margaret’s schoolgirl said she had been upset by “disrespectful” comments made about the country’s first female prime minister in the days after her death.
“I can’t imagine what they’ll be saying on the day of the funeral,” she said. “I think what they’ve been saying and doing is absolutely disgusting. She’s a human being and she’s got a family. Yes, she made mistakes but we are all human and no-one is perfect.
“Maggie is simply the best leader we have ever had. You don’t win three terms in office by fluke. She was strong, defiant and a proper leader. You knew where you stood with Maggie. She stood up for her views and stuck by them through thick and thin. She had backbone. Oh, how we could do with a leader like that right now.”
Singleton Sara is living in the Capital with brother Paul, 20, and her work as a full-time model will take her to London and then on to Dubai for two months.
MPs force funeral debate
Left-wing MPs George Galloway and Dennis Skinner have set up a showdown with the UK Government over its plans to cancel Prime Minister’s Questions so senior ministers can attend Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.
The Respect MP was joined by Labour MP Mr Skinner as they objected to a Commons motion which would have cancelled PMQs and Scottish Questions and delayed the start of business until 2.30pm tomorrow.
The Government had hoped the motion would be nodded through unopposed, but the objection will mean a debate of up to three hours today.
Mr Galloway stayed away from Westminster when Parliament was recalled last week after apparently being told disrespectful speeches against Lady Thatcher’s legacy would not be tolerated.