Edinburgh Tories to wave Saltire at Thatcher funeral

Scottish Tories  Allan Smith, Mark Brown, Cameron Rose and Iain McGill.    Picture Ian Rutherford
Scottish Tories Allan Smith, Mark Brown, Cameron Rose and Iain McGill. Picture Ian Rutherford
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CONSERVATIVE party members from the Capital intend to fly the flag for Scotland at Baroness Thatcher’s funeral next week.

Several Scottish Conservative Party supporters will travel to London to pay their respects at the former Prime Minister’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

They include council Tory leader Cameron Rose, Edinburgh West Conservatives chair Mark Brown and Tory activists Allan Smyth and Iain McGill. The eight-strong group will travel overnight by train before finding a spot to view proceedings along the three-mile route.

Organiser Iain McGill, 36, from Leith, said: “A group of us decided that we would like to go and pay our respects to one of Britain’s greatest ever prime ministers.

“We intend to wave Saltire flags to show that Scotland isn’t represented by students in George Square having a party and celebrating the death of an old woman.”

Tory group leader and Southside councillor Cameron Rose echoed the sentiment, saying: “We easily forget that Margaret Thatcher became prime minister at the height of the Cold War. In 1979 the world was on a knife-edge and Britain was torn with internal strife. She brought an instinctive sense of justice and purpose to a country losing its way.

“Her crystal clear understanding of the weaknesses of socialism struck a chord across much of the world. Ironically, many still rail against her name in Scotland though we also benefited from the reforms she initiated and the safer world she left behind.

“I will be honoured to pay my respects to one of the leading figures of the 21st century.”

Lady Thatcher will receive a full ceremonial funeral with military honours.

Personnel from all three military services will line the funeral route while three military bands play – their drums draped in black as a mark of respect.

The Scottish Government has confirmed that First Minister Alex Salmond will also travel to the funeral. Earlier this week he described her as a “truly formidable prime minister whose policies defined a political generation”.

Scotland Yard has meanwhile revealed that police are considering using pre-emptive stop and search powers to prevent troublemakers disrupting the event.

There are expected to be more than 4000 officers and 2000 troops lining the route. Hundreds of specialist police will be working on counter-
terrorism measures, 
with others carefully monitoring CCTV cameras for troublespots.

Met chiefs are likely to use section 60 of the Public Order Act, allowing officers to stop anyone without discretion.