MARGARET THATCHER’S historic election 40 years ago as Britain’s first female prime minister is prompting much soul-searching as Tories continue to agonise over Theresa May’s fate ahead of European elections on May 23 that could, potentially, be ruinous for the Conservatives.
Yet the party would be wise to remember that it was Mrs Thatcher who did so much to galvanise, and incentivise, small businesses so they could become the backbone of the economy, and that it is this sector which continues to be shortchanged by the banks more than a decade after the global economic crash.
Small firms are not demanding preferential treatment when it comes to accessing money to invest in their business. Quite the opposite. They are seeking fairness and Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, is working tirelessly on their behalf.
Mr Hollinrake’s latest letter to Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, is a case in point. How can the SME sector command confidence in the Treasury’s new dispute resolution service, a welcome move, when its membership will be dominated by nine banking sector appointments with just one lone voice representing small and medium-sized enterprises? It is a constructive criticism that Mr Hammond would be urged to take on board if he, just like Mrs Thatcher, also wishes to stay on the side of society’s strivers.