The funeral of Margaret Thatcher in light of the boston bombing will take place and already tight security is almost inevitably going to be the order of the day. Not that this was not going to be expected with the death of a woman who while by some was personally despised and hated for her political policies while in power over her three terms in office as Prime Minister.
The worry for those involved in the security for her funeral tomorrow following yesterday’s bombs in the Boston Marathon.
Scotland Yard says more than 4,000 officers will be deployed for the funeral of Baroness Lady Thatcher, and they will surely be addressing concern for the safety and security for anyone attending the high-profile event.
Central London is expected to be on lockdown for the funeral procession, with a police officers visible every few yards of the route. Doubtless other areas where the former premier has connections, such as Finchley and the town of Grantham will have been also considered London.
Hundreds of security police officers will be kept “kitted up” which though not unusual for state occasions and important events (including the burial of the longest British PM in peacetime and first and currently only female PM) and even where the scale of such events require handling security in such a way as being on alert to rush to flashpoints across the City if this is required as part of a major security operation the bombing of Boston yesterday will probably increase the Police and security forces worry as it will be attended by the Queen, prime minister and foreign dignitaries.
Following the attacks on Boston, President Obama is not expected to attend the ceremony funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral tomorrow afternoon. There will be representatives from the US Government though.
It is expected that bells of Big Ben and the Great Clock at Westminster are to be silenced as a mark of respect during Wednesday’s ceremonial funeral for Lady Thatcher, the speaker of the House of Commons today announced. The last time the bells were silenced was during the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965.
There has been unease about the scale of the funeral and many people are concerned about the cost of the event which is expected to be costing the taxpayer an estimated £10 million.
In a statement, The Metropolitan police’s Commander Christine Jones said despite the security concerns, protests against the Thatcher legacy would be allowed. The Police have asked members of the public who are planning demonstrations to contact them to inform them of their actions in accordance with the law to announce large assembly (co-incidentally a legal legacy of a Thatcherism that dealt with spontaneous assembly to combat flying pickets).
Today worldwide television and satellite companies have been setting up their broadcasting equipment and vehicles in anticipation of ceremony.
Update: The ceremony took place peacefully and with little protest on Wednesday as the following report shows:
- Big Ben to be silenced for Margaret Thatcher funeral as mark of respect (standard.co.uk)
- Margaret Thatcher funeral: coffin arrives at Westminster in low-key ceremony (standard.co.uk)
- Obama Will Not Send Member of His Administration to Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral (patterico.com)
- Argentinian ambassador Alicia Castro rejects invite to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral (independent.co.uk)