May 15, 2022 11.21 am This story is over 24 months old

“Bitter divide”: Margaret Thatcher Grantham statue egged within hours of installation

It didn’t take long

A video has already appeared online showing a man throwing the first eggs at the newly installed £300k statue of Margaret Thatcher in Grantham town centre.

The video, shared by Twitter user @DesignsBarnes shows a male in a white t-shirt and khaki trousers walk to the statue with a box of eggs and a newspaper under one arm before lobbing the eggs towards the monument.

South Kesteven District Council declined to comment on the incident.

It comes as opponents say the statue of Margaret Thatcher erected in Grantham on Sunday will “bitterly divide” the town and nation.

The £300,000 bronze memorial to the Iron Lady was installed at 7am on Sunday morning.

Conservative leaders hailed it as a “fitting tribute” to to the first female Prime Minister who grew up in the town.

They said the hope was to “inspire, educate and inform” people and said the town should “never hide from our history”.

However, opponents say the statue will only serve to cause harm to the town in its current prominent location.

Many believe the statue should not have been installed, or if it must, then it should be within the town’s museum.

Labour group leader at the authority, Councillor Lee Steptoe said: “‘She remains the most divisive PM in history, who cared little for the town she was born in or the millions who lost their jobs under her rush to de-industrialise and privatise the economy.

“Her place should be in the museum with a balance sheet of what she undoubtedly achieved against the cost of her policies such as the Poll Tax riots that helped bring her down.

“Like her statues are divisive and these Victorian concepts have no place in 21st Century.

“Sadly like her, the statue will now bitterly divide Grantham and the nation.”

The statue is lowered into place. | RSM Photography

Some have pointed out that the timing of the installation may indicate that those behind the plans were well aware of the threats that have been made around the statue and the opposition to it.

Twitter user @Rusthallred pointed out: “7am on a Sunday a normal time to put such a widely respected and loved person on a plinth?”

South Kesteven Liberal Democrat Councillor Amanda Wheeler said: “It’s interesting that they chose to erect it quietly without any fanfare on a Sunday morning.

“As a district councillor I wasn’t even aware it was happening and I suspect my invitation to the official opening may well be lost in the post.”

The statue is lowered into place. | RSM Photography

On social media, the divide was also already present.

On Twitter @OCallaghanRedux wrote: “Look forward to seeing the statue when I’m next in town. It’s important for towns to celebrate their famous sons and daughters; promotes civic pride and gives encouragement to the next generation.”

@Jrex62, however, wrote: “The witch was the architect of all the is wrong in the UK today. Let’s hope it doesn’t last long.”

Many already feared it would soon be damaged by vandals – something the council was warned about when it approved the plans in 2009.

@trawlerrider said: “It is a great thing but I fear it will be a constant object of attack from the idiots.”

Some even joked the harness lifting her into place, which had the appearance of a noose, should have been left on.

@Wag06237000 said: “Don’t take the lifting strap off, it suits her.”