Sir Bernard Ingham: Margaret Thatcher’s Longest Press Secretary Dies at 90 | policy news

Margaret Thatcher’s longest-serving press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham, has died after a short illness, her family said.

The former Fleet Street journalist for the Guardian was 90 and died with his family around him at lunchtime on Friday, a statement said.

He served as Baroness Thatcherpress secretary for all but the first few months of his term.

During Labour’s years in power in the 1970s, he worked for left-wing MPs Barbara Castle and Tony Benn as a press officer in the employment and energy departments.

Ingham’s family have described him as a “journalist to the bone” and he published a column in the Yorkshire Post last month.

His son John Ingham said: “To the world at large he is known as Margaret Thatcher’s chief press secretary, a formidable operator in the political and Whitehall jungles.

“But to me, he was my dad – and a great dad at that. He was a fellow football fan and a lovely grandfather and great grandfather. My family will miss him dearly.”

Ingham thanked his father’s nursing home, Tupwood Gate in Caterham, Surrey, and his previous home caretakers for their “wonderful care and support”.

After leaving Downing Street, Sir Bernard wrote his memoirs, Kill The Messenger, and worked as a political commentator, after-dinner speaker, cruise ship lecturer and newspaper columnist.

Sir Bernard, pictured in 2013 at Thatcher’s funeral, was still filing copies for newspaper columns this year.

See more information:
Tales of 100 Years of PM’s Checkers Retreat
Why Thatcher tried to ban raves

Born on 21 June 1932 and educated at Hebden Bridge Grammar School, he got his start at the age of 16 at his local West Yorkshire newspaper, The Hebden Bridge Times.

After rising from the Guardian to become a government press officer, he portrayed himself as an ardent enemy of “spin”, criticizing those who practiced the “black art”.

Sir Bernard was knighted in the honors of Baroness Thatcher’s resignation.

He was married for 60 years to Nancy Ingham, a former police officer, who died in 2017.

He leaves a son, two grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Former Conservative Home Secretary Priti Patel described Sir Bernard as a “giant of British political communications and an extremely loyal man” and thanked him for his services to Lady Thatcher’s administration.

While Alastair Campbell – former Labor Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair and a former Mirror journalist – said he “always treated me fairly and considerately” during his period reporting on the Thatcher era, despite “working for a newspaper totally contrary to her and her policies”.

Leave a Comment