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Image for Brighton: The Bomb That Changed Politics

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Mon 12 Oct 2009 20:00 BBC Radio 4

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 12 October 2009

In 1984, the Provisional IRA mounted their most audacious terrorist attack - attempting to blow up the British cabinet at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton. Michael Dobbs, a former senior adviser to Margaret Thatcher and John Major, was at the Grand Hotel when the bomb detonated.

He believes its legacy has had a profound impact on our politics, especially at party conferences and Westminster. Revisiting Brighton for the first time since 1984 and talking to leading political figures, he asks if we have struck the right balance in protecting politicians and ensuring they are not cocooned from the people they serve.

Featuring contributions from Lord Tebbit, Ken Livingstone, Alastair Campbell, Charles Clarke, Charles Kennedy and Francis Maude.

  • Audio slideshow: The Brighton bomb

    Audio slideshow: The Brighton bomb

    Author and former Conservative advisor Michael Dobbs was at the Grand Hotel in Brighton when the IRA tried to blow up Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet during the Conservative Party conference. With the help of archive recordings from the time, Michael Dobbs remembers the events of the night.

    Watch the audio slideshow on the BBC news website


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