UK Politics

The Ironing Lady: Thatcher stall is Tory conference hit

Diane Goslar
Image caption Party member Diane Goslar was among those snapping up Thatcher-themed T-towels

A stall selling Margaret Thatcher memorabilia is doing a roaring trade at the Conservative Party conference - but one item proved too hot to handle.

A £25 Thatcher-themed ironing board cover had to be dropped because it was deemed a fire risk by the party's commercial director Scott Seaman-Digby.

"I tested it myself at home and it wasn't very heat resistant. It curled at the corner," he told BBC News.

The best-selling item so far is an £8 Iron Baby bib.

"It is the first time we have done these products and they are proving very popular. People like to take something home as a gift," said Mr Seaman-Digby.

Diane Goslar, a party member from London, was buying a bib for a friend.

"The Iron Baby bib is a little bit ironic. There is something to be said for the fact that the baby is too young to have a say in what you are putting on them!

Image caption Baby clothes and bibs for very young Conservatives are flying off the shelves

"The tea towel could be a bought for a socialist - they could get their own back by wiping their their dishes on her."

Other popular items include T-shirts with some of the Iron Lady's best known-phrases printed on them, such as "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money".

Thatcher cufflinks, at £12 a set, are also selling well. You can also buy a bottle of Our Maggie ale.

All proceeds go to Conservative Party funds.

A neighbouring stall - The Red Ed Lion - selling bottles of "Weaker than Brown ale", "David's Bitter" and "Extra Strong Union Ale" was doing less brisk trade on Monday morning.

The beer, a Manchester Pale Ale, brewed by JW Lees, of Manchester, goes well with a serving of State and Ale pie or some Cheese and Union crisps, apparently.

Image caption Novelty ale is a favourite for medium for attacking your political opponents

Lady Thatcher was at the forefront of Tory minds as their conference got under way in Manchester, on Sunday.

Party members were treated to a 10 minute video tribute to Lady Thatcher, Our Maggie.

On the weekend that the former prime minister's ashes were interred, senior party figures past and present, including David Cameron, paid tribute to her leadership of the country.

The film received a prolonged standing ovation, with many conference-goers visibly moved by the sentiments expressed in it.