Hillary Clinton says she left Margaret Thatcher out of her new feminist book because Britain’s first female PM didn’t make a ‘positive difference’ to women

  • Mrs Clinton questioned Mrs Thatcher’s legacy in a media blitz promoting book
  • She said first female PM did not make a ‘positive difference’ for UK women 
  • Emma Barnett said Mrs Thatcher was a ‘gutsy women, even if you didn’t like her’
  • Critics said her decision to promote book in election period also interference 
  • She used BBC interviews to say she wants to hug Meghan Markle over racism 

Hillary Clinton has denied Margaret Thatcher deserves a place on her list of history’s ‘gutsiest women’ as her UK book tour took yet another controversial twist.

The Democrat defeated by Donald Trump in 2016 questioned Mrs Thatcher’s legacy in a media blitz yesterday promoting: ‘The Book Of Gutsy Women’, which she co-wrote with her daughter Chelsea. 

During an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday, host Emma Barnett said it was ‘quite striking’ that Britain’s first female Prime Minister – the working class daughter of a Grantham grocer – wasn’t in there.

Ms Barnett said she thought the former Tory leader, who died in 2013 aged 87, fitted the description of a ‘gutsy women, even if you didn’t like her.’ 

Hillary, who had wanted to be America’s first female political leader 27 years after Mrs Thatcher swept to power, responded: ‘She doesn’t fit the other part of the definition in our opinion, which really is knocking down other barriers for others and trying to make a positive difference’. She also said she had a ‘conflicted record’.


Hillary Clinton (left) has denied that Margaret Thatcher (right in 1991) deserves a place on her list of history’s gutsiest women because she didn’t see ‘positive’ changes she had effected for women in Britain

She praised Thatcher as ‘strong’ and ‘clever’ but said she didn’t see ‘positive’ changes she had effected for women in the country, adding she had ‘very little interest’ in making a positive difference.

Chelsea Clinton added: ‘I do think, for us, you can’t separate out gutsiness from leading a life that is full of purpose for yourself, and also for others.’   

Emma Barnett said she thought the late Tory leader fitted the description of a ‘gutsy women, even if you didn’t like her.’

The comments have caused controversy online 

During her series of interviews yesterday Hillary also slammed the ‘shameful’ delay in releasing a report probing Russian interference in British politics – but was  accused of interfering herself during a UK media blitz promoting her book.

The former presidential candidate said she believes ‘every person who votes’ in the UK should see the document before Britain goes to the polls on December 12.

She said: ‘I’m dumbfounded that this Government won’t release the report about Russian influence. Because every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens’.

The former presidential candidate spoke out while promoting her new book ‘Gutsy Women’ with her daughter Chelsea in a series of interviews across the BBC and ITV.

But some critics have questioned the timing of her own intervention ahead of a UK general election and accused her of trying to help Labour.

Tory MP Michael Fabricant said: ‘If Jeremy Corbyn thinks that Hillary Clinton’s announcements on the radio will be helpful, he is deluded as David Cameron when he thought that President Obama’s intervention during the EU Referendum would help the Remain cause.

‘As much as I love the US, neither Clinton’s nor her arch rival’s – Trump’s – comments endear themselves to the British voting public. Quite the opposite.’

Nigel Farage told MailOnline that Hillary Clinton’s decision to promote her book as Britain’s approaches the most important election for decades is ‘typical of her’.

He added: ‘The Russia conspiracy never dies with Hillary. She even said I was funded by them’.

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton with the BBC’s Emma Barnett during the media blitz in Britain

Chelsea Clinton (left) and Hillary Clinton are in London promoting their book ‘Gutsy Women’, which they co-wrote together. Mrs Clinton says the ‘gutsiest thing she did’ was stay with husband Bill after he cheated on her

Hillary Clinton waves outside the BBC yesterday where she spoke to Radio 4 and 5Live and also appeared on BBC Breakfast in pre-recorded interviews

The report by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) was sent to the Prime Minister for approval on October 17 – but it has been held up. 

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Mrs Clinton said the delay was disgraceful given the upcoming election, referencing the proven Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

‘That should be an absolute condition. There is no doubt – we know it in our country, we have seen it in Europe, we have seen it here [Britain], that Russia in particular is determined to try to shape the politics of Western democracies, not to our benefit, but to theirs.

‘People deserve to know what is in that report. We had a somewhat similar problem in 2016.’

The BBC has been accused of ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for Mrs Clinton who herself has been accused of ‘interfering’ in British politics during the general election campaign.  

Although there has been no indication of the precise contents of the report on Russia, it will assess the threat posed by Moscow to Britain’s democratic processes following an 18-month inquiry into illicit Russian activities in Britain.

The Sunday Times previously claimed nine Russian business people who have donated money to the Conservative Party were named in the dossier.

BBC listeners and viewers expressed disquiet about Hillary’s own decision to speak out during the crunch general election campaign

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, who has seen the report, has stressed its publication is essential ahead of the General Election, as it contains information ‘germane’ to voters.

What is the row over the Russia report? 

Parliament’s cross-party Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has been investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the electoral system.

Chairman Dominic Grieve says a report was sent to the Prime Minister for approval on October 17 – but will not be published before December 12 amid claims it is being ‘sat on’. 

Ministers have said the apparent delay is just down to normal processes being followed.

So-called ‘purdah’ rules mean governments are not allowed to publish anything controversial in the run-up to an election. 

Although there has been no indication of the precise contents of the report on Russia, it will assess the threat posed by Moscow to Britain’s democratic system.

The Sunday Times previously claimed nine Russian business people who have donated money to the Conservative Party were named in the dossier. 

A report into Russian interference in the US presidential election in 2016 found illegal interference from Moscow occurred in a ‘sweeping and systemic fashion’, according to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mrs Clinton stressed the importance of the UK security report being made public before the General Election to allow voters to make informed decisions.

She continued: ‘(Donald) Trump and his campaign were under investigation for their connections with Russia, and Russians, and Russian cutouts and Russian agents, and others promoting Russian interests.

‘And the public didn’t know before the election. And I would hate to see that happen here. Whatever the outcome.

‘ don’t know what’s in it, any more than anybody else does. But certainly, people who are about to vote in a month or so deserve to know what is in a report that one has to speculate must have something of concern, otherwise why wouldn’t it be publicly disclosed?’

Mr Grieve, chairman of the ISC, has accused the PM of sitting on the report ahead of the December 12 vote.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and a Downing Street spokesman have said the machinery of government is the reason for the delay in publication.

Mr Shapps said that while he was not close to the report, the delay is ‘just the usual way that purdah works’ and incumbent governments are not allowed to publish anything controversial in the run-up to an election.

‘I want to put my arms around Meghan and tell her keep going, do what you think is right’: Hillary Clinton says she wants to hug Duchess of Sussex over ‘racist and sexist’ treatment as she arrives in UK to plug new book

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said that she wants to put her arms around Meghan Markle and comfort her over the racist and sexist treatment she has received.

Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 Live, the former US secretary of state said that the treatment of Meghan over the past three years has been ‘heartbreaking and wrong’.

She appeared on the programme with her daughter Chelsea, who said the duchess had ‘absolutely’ faced a racially charged backlash after her relationship with Harry began in 2016.

Meghan has faced widespread scrutiny and public attention in recent months, with husband Harry suggesting there was a tabloid campaign against his wife.

Hillary Clinton (at the Southbank Centre in London at the launch of her book yesterday) says that there is a racial element behind some of the criticism Meghan Markle has faced

The royal couple have also launched legal action against several UK newspapers. 

Mrs Clinton said: ‘I think even if you go back and look at social media from the time the engagement was announced, race was clearly an element in it.

‘And to think that some of your – what we would call mainstream – media actually allowed that to be printed in their pages, or amplified, was heartbreaking and wrong.

‘She has made her own way in the world. And then she falls in love, and he falls in love with her, and everybody should be celebrating that because it is a true love story. You can just look at them and see that.’

The former first lady said her maternal instincts drove her to give advice and support to Meghan.

She continued: ‘I feel as a mother I just want to put my arms around her. Oh my God, I want to hug her!

‘I want to tell her to hang in there, don’t let those bad guys get you down. Keep going, do what you think is right.

Meghan has faced widespread scrutiny and public attention since her engagement to Prince Harry, with her husband suggesting there was a tabloid campaign against his wife

‘You know, it’s not easy. And there are some techniques that can be learned along the way, some humour, some deflection, whatever, which I’m sure she will come to. But it is tough what she is going through. And I think she deserves a lot better.’

Both Clintons appeared at the Southbank Centre in London on Sunday to promote their new book, The Book Of Gutsy Women: Favourite Stories Of Courage And Resilience.

When Barnett asked the pair about the women featured in the book, they said Margaret Thatcher was not included because she had ‘very little interest’ in making a positive difference.

Mrs Clinton said that while the former prime minister was certainly gutsy and strong, she had a conflicted record.

‘She doesn’t fit the other part of the definition, in our opinion, which really is knocking down barriers for others, and trying to make a positive difference. I think the record is mixed with her.

‘I thought she was incredibly strong. But I think on the criterion that we were really looking at, OK, what were the positive differences, the changes that this person made, that really opened doors to more – that wasn’t that apparent.’

Chelsea Clinton (pictured with her mother at the Southbank Centre in London yesterday) said the duchess had ‘absolutely’ faced a racially charged backlash after her relationship with Harry began in 2016

Chelsea Clinton added: ‘I do think, for us, you can’t separate out gutsiness from leading a life that is full of purpose for yourself, and also for others.’

The interview with Hillary and Chelsea Clinton will air on The Emma Barnett Show on Tuesday at 10am.

The elder Clinton also appeared on the One Show this evening, where she discussed the possibility of another presidential run. 

She said: ‘I say the same thing every time people ask, I’ll do everything I can to retire the incumbent. That can be by supporting those running. I’m just grateful for the opportunities that I have had. I loved being in public life; the good, the bad, the ugly.

‘A lot are pushing hard [for me to run again] but I really believe we have to keep our focus on what it will take to get a new president and get our country back – all the attacks on our institutions, undermining the rule of law everything that’s going on.

‘I think we are in a global struggle for democracy and I don’t say that lightly. I think there’s a rise of autocrats who think it’s their way or no way and I’m worried there are people in my country – including the president – who are enamoured and who seem to have great admiration for dictators who wants to do away with all the messiness of coming together to make decisions.

‘It’s hard in a democracy you don’t have someone telling you what to do you gotta say okay I’m gonna vote, participate and support the best direction and there can be differences that’s all part of it. 

‘I’m really worried about my country right now and I want to make sure whoever is running knows what the stakes are.’

Speaking about abuse that she has received on social media, Mrs Clinton added: ‘It used to do way more than it does now. 

‘People accuse you of things that aren’t true. 

‘It’s troubling, hurts and can be painful but when it goes on you realise it’s more about them than you.

‘What bothers me is the women’s voices who will be silenced because of the threats online. So vile. That’s happening in the UK. You’re having an election and a lot of women parliamentarians are saying we won’t run again.

‘Once you poke our head up and say we want to be a member of whatever party you get assaulted online. You had Jo Cox murdered around the Brexit controversy.

‘There are real threats and there are all of the insults and bigotry and prejudice that unfortunately gets amplified online.

‘You have to be willing to face that but you shouldn’t be expected to. We should all stand together.’ 

 

 

 

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