Who Was The First Female British Prime Minister?


2 Answers

Mark Henderson Profile
Mark Henderson answered
Margaret Thatcher (1925 - 2013) was the first and only female British Prime Minister.

She held office between 4th May 1979 and the 28th November 1990, winning three consecutive general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987 respectively. Thatcher was ousted from power in 1990 as a result of a leadership challenge by Michael Heseltine.
Background and Early Life
Margaret Thatcher was born and raised in Grantham, Lincolnshire to a lower-middle-class family. 
She became a research chemist and then a barrister before being elected to Parliament in 1959. 
By 1970 she had been appointed the Secretary of Sate for Education and Science in Edward Heath's government. She went on to challenge and defeat Heath in the 1975 Conservative party leadership election, and in 1979 she won the general election.

Events while Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister (1979 - 1990)

Domestic Affairs
  • Economy: During Thatcher's early premiership the British economy was in recession and by December 1980 her approval rating fell to 23%, lower than any previous Prime Minister.
  • Industrial Relations: Mrs Thatcher was determined to reduce the power of the trade unions and introduced legislation to limit this.
  • Northern Ireland: Thatcher formed the Anglo-Irish Inter-Governmental Council in an attempt to end "the troubles".

Foreign Policy

  • The Falklands War: Thatcher sent a task force to recapture the British Falklands Islands which were invaded by Argentina in 1982.
  • European Union: A staunch opponent of the EU, Thatcher said: "We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels."
  • The Gulf War: One of Margaret Thatcher's last acts as PM was to persuade US President George Bush Snr to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.

Answer Question