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6 July 1989
The Challenge of Europe: Can Britain win? 
by Michael Heseltine.
Weidenfeld, 226 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 297 79608 9
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... with a decisive House of Commons vote behind it, the British would be ‘good Europeans’, at least as long as a Conservative government was in power. A handful of rebels was neither here nor there. MichaelHeseltine’s extended tract is a measure of how far, under Mrs Thatcher, this expectation remains unfulfilled. The Prime Minister’s abrasive relations with Britain’s European partners have been ...

It’s a riot

Michael​ Ignatieff

20 August 1981
‘Civil Disturbances’: Hansard, Vol. 8, Nos 143-144, 16 July 1981 – 17 July 1981 
HMSO, £80Show More
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... been for a generation, the two major parties are speaking a surprisingly similar language about the riots. In the adjournment debate on ‘Civil Disturbances’, MPs as far apart as Joan Lestor and MichaelHeseltine agreed that the speeches had transcended party politics. Of course there were exceptions. No Tory MP joined Stuart Holland and John Fraser in their criticism of the Police in Brixton, and ...
18 July 1985
The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... Two at the Old Bailey through which we both sat for 11 extraordinary days, and the final chapter on the implications for Whitehall should be read by every civil servant. Norton-Taylor observes that MichaelHeseltine, like the rest of the Government, was stunned, and stung, by the jury’s verdict, and was determined to fight back, to have the last word, and to keep the pressure on Ponting for as long ...

After the Battle

Matthew Coady

26 November 1987
by Tam Dalyell.
Hamish Hamilton, 152 pp., £10.95, May 1987, 0 241 12170 1
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One Man’s Judgement: An Autobiography 
by Lord Wheatley.
Butterworth, 230 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 406 10019 5
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Changing Battlefields: The Challenge to the Labour Party 
by John Silkin.
Hamish Hamilton, 226 pp., £13.95, September 1987, 9780241121719
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HeseltineThe Unauthorised Biography 
by Julian Critchley.
Deutsch, 198 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 233 98001 6
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... detects her hand in the leaking of a letter from the Solicitor-General in the affair of the Westland helicopter company, discerning, as he does so, a campaign to discredit her Secretary for Defence, MichaelHeseltine, who subsequently resigned. He claims, moreover, that she again misled the Commons over the American use of British bases to bomb Libya, and he sees her influence behind the police raids on ...
4 April 1985
The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the ‘Belgrano’ Affair 
by Clive Ponting.
Sphere, 214 pp., £2.50, March 1985, 0 7221 6944 2
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... meeting on 30 March 1984 to decide how to answer the letters from Denzil Davies and myself, dated 19 March. It got going just before 10 a.m. and lasted until nearly one o’clock. Anyone who knows MichaelHeseltine knows that he is a rapid dispatcher of business, even by senior ministerial standards. To spend three hours wondering how to answer a couple of letters is blue-moonish, and speaks volumes ...

Westland Ho

Paul Foot

6 February 1986
... Government, but their basic content has never been in doubt. Brittan, the son of a socialist doctor, was supported in this enthusiasm for a European alternative by the Secretary of State for Defence, MichaelHeseltine. Heseltine was an expert in subservience to the Pentagon. He had enthusiastically supervised the deployment of American Cruise missiles in Britain, and had based his British nuclear ...
27 June 1991
Kill the messenger 
by Bernard Ingham.
HarperCollins, 408 pp., £17.50, May 1991, 0 00 215944 9
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... State for Trade and Industry, allowed his head of information, Collette Bowe, to read out to the Press Association a letter from the Solicitor-General to the selfsame Secretary of State for Defence (MichaelHeseltine). Neither the Solicitor-General nor Heseltine knew of the leak. The letter, like the document about the Cruise missiles demo, was entirely secret. Though neither document was a threat to ...
3 April 1997
Once a Jolly Bagman: Memoirs 
by Alistair McAlpine.
Weidenfeld, 269 pp., £20, March 1997, 9780297817376
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... When did it suddenly become obvious that the Tories were going to lose the election? Was it that golden moment when Michael Portillo, that scourge of unnecessary public spending, announced that £60m of public money was earmarked for a new yacht for the richest woman on earth – even though Her Majesty had made it plain ...


Conor Gearty: Various Forms of Sleaze

24 November 1994
... for Mr Tim Yeo in early 1994. Soon after this resignation, Lord Caithness resigned following the suicide of his wife, which apparently was the result of an affair he had been conducting. In 1993, Michael Mates left the government after disclosures that he had sent gifts and messages of support to the businessman Asil Nadir. Norman Lamont caused an uproar over his use of public money to evict a tenant ...


R.W. Johnson: Major Wins the Losership

3 August 1995
... Tories could not be re-elected unless they dispensed with both Mrs Thatcher and the poll tax, the press began the countdown to the November re-election date. This campaign gathered such momentum that MichaelHeseltine, the obvious contender, would have been badly damaged had he not stood. In June this year the same countdown had begun when Major cut the campaign short with a pre-emptive resignation, his ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Spectator

25 January 2001
... When, in May, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson gives up his role as Tory MP for the Spectator to take over from MichaelHeseltine as the editor of Henley-on-Thames, you have to wonder where they’re going to find someone sufficiently blond to be his successor at Doughty Street (from which sturdy address the organ Johnson ...


Simon Hoggart

24 April 1997
Michael HeseltineA Biography 
by Michael​ Crick.
Hamish Hamilton, 496 pp., £20, February 1997, 0 241 13691 1
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... MichaelHeseltine’s dark secret is that he isn’t such a clever politician after all. This absorbing book shows that he has important qualities for an MP and even a minister, but not quite enough of them. He has ...
21 March 1991
Ever Closer Union: Britain’s Destiny in Europe 
by Hugh Thomas.
Hutchinson, 96 pp., £7.99, January 1991, 0 09 174908 5
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The Challenge of Europe: Can Britain win? 
by Michael Heseltine.
Pan, 226 pp., £5.99, February 1991, 9780330314367
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... education’ is a trifle patronising. But most of us would agree that a government trying to ‘take Britain into Europe’ had a public relations problem. Is that still the case? Are Hugh Thomas and MichaelHeseltine right in arguing that Britain’s leaders are now lagging behind public opinion in Europeanism or, at the very least, that they are failing in their duty to enthuse us? That two ...
21 July 1983
In Time of War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 566 pp., £25, April 1983, 0 233 97514 4
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... When MichaelHeseltine launched a not-too-oblique attack on Irish neutrality in the course of a visit to Northern Ireland on 4 May, he was – presumably – unaware of the fact that he was reopening a book which both ...


Tam Dalyell: The Belgrano Affair

7 February 1985
... matters. Various people were checked out, either known or unbeknown to themselves. In March 1984 there was a ‘tremendous flap’ in Downing Street. My attention was drawn, in particular, to what Mr Heseltine, the Defence Secretary, had said publicly to the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, concerning his own activities in middle and late March and his contact with Mrs Thatcher over how they should ...

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