News Eggs thrown after Margaret Thatcher statue installed in Grantham, UK
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Eggs thrown after Margaret Thatcher statue installed in Grantham, UK

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A statue of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher has been egged less than two hours after it was installed in her home town.

A protester threw eggs from behind a temporary fence surrounding the memorial, with a cry of “oi” heard after one hit part of the monument.

The statue was lowered into place in Grantham, Lincolnshire, amid previous threats of “egg throwing”.

In February 2019, a planning committee unanimously voted in favour of the £300,000 ($530,000) statue, which was originally intended for Parliament Square in London’s Westminster.

Despite its unveiling being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the statue was erected on a three-metre-high granite plinth on Sunday morning.

Reports originally presented to South Kesteven District Council showed the statue was moved to the area due to fears of a “motivated far-left movement … who may be committed to public activism”.

After a large-scale £100,000 unveiling ceremony was approved by the council in 2020, a Facebook group proposing an “egg-throwing contest” at the event attracted interest from more than 13,000 people.

About 2400 others visited the Facebook page to say they would go to the event including “egg throwing … and potentially graffiti art”.

A CCTV camera has been installed directly opposite the memorial to attempt to combat any threats of vandalism, the council said.

A man in a white T-shirt was seen holding an egg carton in one hand and preparing to throw an egg from the other on Sunday.

Egg residue and a piece of shell could be seen on the statue’s lower half.

Police turned up at the scene within minutes of the incident.

Before planning permission was given to the statue, the only marking of Baroness Thatcher in the town was a plaque on a street corner to show where she was born.

A council spokesman said the Public Memorials Appeal, which funded the monument through donations, will host an official unveiling ceremony at a later date.

Leader of South Kesteven District Council Kelham Cooke said “we must never hide from our history”, adding it is “appropriate the debate that surrounds her legacy takes place here in Grantham”.

He said: “This memorial statue of the late Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven will be a fitting tribute to a truly unique political figure.

“Margaret Thatcher will always be a significant part of Grantham’s heritage. She and her family have close ties with Grantham. She was born, raised and went to school here.

“It is, therefore, appropriate that she is commemorated by her home town and that the debate that surrounds her legacy takes place here in Grantham.

Cooke added: “We hope that this memorial will encourage others to visit Grantham and to see where she lived and visit the exhibition of her life in Grantham Museum.

-PA