Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mrs Thatcher wanted a ban on 2nd wives entering UK

MARGARET THATCHER demanded a clampdown on Asian men bringing second wives into Britain claiming immigration rules discriminated in favour of the ‘coloured Commonwealth’, according to papers just released.

In 1986 ministers in Mrs Thatcher’s Conservative government were under pressure to prevent Pakistani and Bangladeshi women in polygamous marriages joining their husbands in the UK, files from the National Archives show.

No.10 policy chiefs told the prime minister: ‘Though the numbers are small, the problem is vexed and the Home Office are exposed to public pressure.’

But attorney general Sir Michael Havers wrote: ‘I advise in the strongest terms against taking any action against second wives until there is a change in the law. Such unlawful action by the government cannot be contemplated.’

Mrs Thatcher, however, was adamant that action had to be taken, scrawling in a handwritten note: ‘The country would be with us on this. We would be crazy to discriminate in favour of the coloured Commonwealth against the UK.’ In 1982 she strongly objected to Home Office plans to relax rules on women immigrants bringing in husbands.

However, when employment secretary Norman Tebbit wanted to tighten the rules on ‘working holidaymakers’, Mrs Thatcher and home secretary William Whitelaw objected, saying that it would harm relations with Australia.

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