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No One Actually Wants To Spend Public Money On A Margaret Thatcher Memorial

A petition calling for a ban on taxpayer funding for a memorial museum in the name of the former prime minister has gone viral. But it's also total rubbish.

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It calls for a complete ban on any public funding going to the proposed Margaret Thatcher memorial museum:

Please do not give the go-ahead for the proposed museum and library in honour of the late Margaret Thatcher. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, appears to have given this £15 million proposal his backing.

Given that we are living through a period of extreme austerity, and that there is talk of various museums having to close, I feel it is most disingenuous to assume the taxpayer is happy to fund a proposed £15 million edifice in her name.

The Prime Minister and his government must appreciate that the late Margaret Thatcher was an exceedingly divisive person who has not been warmly received in recent history by the population as a whole.

Although the petition dates from last year, thousands of extra signatures have been added in recent days.

People are really, really furious at the idea of public funds being spent remembering on the controversial former Conservative prime minister.

The only problem is: It's not true.

There is absolutely no question in any way that this project is looking for taxpayers' money. It will be entirely funded by private subscription and will totally comply with every rule and relegation of the Charity Commission. We continue to receive donations and the project is doing a commercial suitability test with one of the big four accountancy firms.
This is not a monument. It is a tribute. It will be a living space that will be about debating political ideas and values, enabling people to come and learn about Margaret Thatcher's life and legacy. It will not be a hagiography. It will cover supporters and opposing viewpoints.If we host a seminar on the miner's strike it would be absurd if every speaker came from a position backing her government.

Burns, the MP for Bournemouth West, also said the project – run by the Cherish Freedom Trust – is now more likely to be based close to the Margaret Thatcher archive in Cambridge rather than in London, as previously reported.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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