MP John Healey has called on the Prime Minister to publish the full cost of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral amid fears the government will try to hide its true cost.
It follows Francis Maude's appearance on the BBC’s Any Questions on Friday, the minister in charge of organising Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.
Mr Maude said he didn't know what would be the cost of tomorrow’s ceremonial funeral and suggested that, when the total cost is released afterwards, the figure will exclude the cost of the many military personnel and police involved – likely to make up a large part of the bill picked up by the public purse.
In a letter, Mr Healey told David Cameron: “The public has a right to know the full cost to the country of this funeral, especially at a time when so many people are seeing the austerity effect of your government’s spending cuts in their communities and in their pay packets. With gun carriage, full military honours, the service at St Paul’s and the silence of Big Ben, this is a full-scale state funeral in all but name."
Last week, Mr Healey boycotted the tribute debate, saying the Prime Minister had hijacked Parliament for political gain and Baroness Thatcher’s legacy was “too bitter.”
He added: "As you know, only one ex-Prime Minister in the last 100 years has been given a state funeral – Winston Churchill. He was a Prime Minister that brought the country together, whilst Margaret Thatcher was one who divided it. He was a Prime Minister to whom people as one nation could pay respect and honour; Margaret Thatcher was not.“
It has been widely reported that today’s funeral will cost £10 million.