Untitled cartoon by Gerald Scarfe (early 1980s).

Margaret Thatcher saved career of police chief who made Aids remarks

Margaret Thatcher helped save the career of a police chief constable who said Aids patients lived in a “human cesspool of their own making”, newly-released documents show.

THE TELEGRAPH, 04 Jan 2012

Sir James Anderton, then chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, faced calls to quit after making the comments, which were perceived as homophobic.

Now documents secured by the Manchester Evening News give an incredible insight into the 1986 political storm – and show how close the country’s second largest police force came to meltdown.

It can revealed that the government staged a series of crisis meetings aimed at keeping Sir James in post, and that other chief constables accused Sir James of ‘bringing ridicule’ on the police service.

The papers also show that senior civil servants were dismayed over the top cop’s ‘religious overtones’ and feared he had a ‘taste for martyrdom’, but that Mrs Thatcher, the then Prime Minister, privately backed Sir James’s right to speak out – and stamped down demands for a public inquiry into the state of the force. (more)


Belgrano Nightmare – Thatcher Wakes Screaming (1982) by Gerald Scarfe.


Cartoon by Steve Bell (2000).

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