Mother-in-law says relatives who threw eggs at Baroness Thatcher statue ‘childish’

The £300,000 statue was placed in Grantham, the former Prime Minister’s hometown, over fears it could become the focus of the “far left” if placed in Parliamentary Square in Westminster

A statue of Margaret Thatcher is lowered in Grantham
A statue of Margaret Thatcher is lowered in her hometown of Grantham

A man who threw eggs at a statue of former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher was told by his mother-in-law that it wasn’t an egg yolk.

Jeremy Webster, 59, was pictured throwing eggs at the statue shortly after Sunday’s unveiling in Grantham, the late Prime Minister’s hometown.

A yell of “oi” was heard after connecting to the lower part of the monument.

In February 2019, a planning committee voted unanimously for the £300,000 statue – originally intended for Parliament Square in Westminster.

Reports initially presented to South Kesteven Borough Council indicated that the statue was moved to the area for fear of a “motivated far-left movement … possibly engaging in public activism”.

The statue of Baroness Margaret Thatcher is lowered onto her dais in her home town of Grantham

The University of Leicester, which MailOnline said is set to employ Mr Webster as deputy head of its Attenborough Arts Centre, said it takes “any act of defacement extremely seriously” and will look into the matter. Video of the incident showed him throwing three eggs, missing two, but hitting the 20ft monument with one of the rockets – which stands on a 10ft granite pedestal installed to deter vandals.

Relative Yvonne Barnes, 87, is quoted in MailOnline as saying: “Margaret Thatcher was in power for a long time. She was a pioneer as the first woman prime minister and she had so much energy, although I know she slept very little. I’m very surprised to hear about all of this (egg tossing). I have to call my daughter. I didn’t think Jeremy would be the guy to do it. It seems very childish to me – he has a responsible job.”

The statue was Margaret Thatcher, who was put up on Sunday in a controversial move by local council



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South Kesteven Borough Council leader Kelham Cooke said: “We must never hide from our history,” adding it was “appropriate that the debate surrounding her legacy should take place here in Grantham”.

Mr Webster is secretary of his wife Denise Barnes’ Lincoln-based arts business while he is listed as Director of the Arts Council-funded Arts Center at the University of Leicester.

Kerry Law, from the University of Leicester, told MailOnline: “The university has a long history of supporting the arts, encouraging creativity and protecting creative freedom. She does not tolerate any form of defacement and takes any defacement extremely seriously. This matter will be dealt with in accordance with the university’s own procedures.”

A spokesman for the Arts Council told the publication: “Alleged criminal damage is a matter for the police.”

Lincolnshire Police received a criminal damage report but said no one had been arrested or spoken to.

According to MailOnline, Mr Webster tweeted on Sunday: “Grantham unveils the Thatcher statue so guess where we’re going?” He later said on Instagram it was “first hit with an egg”.

Mrs Barnes, who lives in Axminster, Devon with husband Keith, 83, appeared unaware that Mr Webster was the man who aimed at the statue. She told the publication: “No one likes people at the top of government. It is so, but I didn’t know that Jeremy had a strong dislike for Mrs Thatcher.”

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