'Motherly' Margaret Thatcher cleaned bodyguard's shoes and rooms 'to make them feel at home'
Former British Prime Minister and 'Iron Lady' Margaret Thatcher had a motherly side, cleaning dirt from her bodyguard's shoes and putting up Christmas decorations to make staff feel at home, her former protection officer has revealed.
A new account of her life, written by her bodyguard of 20 years, has shed light on a caring, motherly side hidden from the general public.
Special Branch detective Barry Strevens said that his heart 'sank' when he originally discovered who he would be protecting.
But from first meeting, when Baroness Thatcher "fussed" over him following a minor motoring accident, he claims he was won over, the Telegraph reports.
Strevens claimed that he was "taken aback" by her "motherly" concern, as she sought to put him at ease and look after his welfare.
Once, he claimed that she even kindly wiped dog dirt after a police sergeant inadvertently walked it into her apartment on his shoe.
Strevens described how Baroness Thatcher decorated the bleak outbuilding at Chequers he was living in for Christmas, tidying up the mess left behind by a previous shift of officers and putting up tinsel and leaving him presents to cheer him up, the report said.
He said he was 'incredibly touched' by the gesture, which comforted him while he was away from his own wife and children over the festive season.
"It was at that moment I knew I would stand in the way of a bullet for Margaret Thatcher without hesitation," he said.
According to the report, Strevens, who began his work for Baroness Thatcher in April 1978, described how a colleague had once feared getting into trouble after accidentally treading in dog mess outside and walking over a white carpet.
"I was taken aback by how motherly she was and her genuine concern," he said.