It has always been the custom to make Tory leaders honorary members of the Carlton Club. Margaret Thatcher followed in the footsteps of her predecessors when she became leader in 1975. A recent article in the famous Londoner’s Diary in the London Evening Standard asserted that she was the one woman in an all-male bastion. This was not the case as Alistair Lexden, the Carlton Club’s historian, pointed out in a letter published in the Standard on 19 July.
The Londoner’s Diary casts a slur on the Carlton Club by claiming that for three decades Margaret Thatcher was the only woman allowed in it [July 15]. Several hundred others used it too during that period as associate members and many women rather liked the arrangement because they paid a lower subscription.
Few of them probably talked to Mrs Thatcher. She made sure that she was surrounded by men.
House of Lords (Con) and Carlton Club historian