News, Culture & Society

Neil Kinnock demanded a top-spec Rover as his official car

Neil Kinnock demanded a top-spec Rover as his official car after rejecting the original two-litre model – and Mrs Thatcher granted his request

  • Labour’s Neil Kinnock rejected the two-litre model he was due to receive
  • Aides said it was unlikely to cope with his schedule of barrelling around UK
  • Margaret Thatcher noted ironically that he was not alone in his exploits
  • In 1988, Kinnock had been due to receive Rover 820SE in line with ministers

Margaret Thatcher chided Labour leader Neil Kinnock after he demanded a top-spec Rover, amid claims lesser models were not powerful enough to cope with his relentless touring of the country.

The Welsh politician rejected the two-litre model he was due to receive, with aides saying it was unlikely to cope with his schedule of barrelling around the country.

And although Margaret Thatcher personally ok’d the request, she noted somewhat ironically that he was not alone in his exploits, and that ‘some cabinet ministers do similar mileage.’

Neil Kinnock (pictured in 1988) rejected the two-litre model he was due to receive, with aides saying it was unlikely to cope with his schedule of barrelling around the country

In 1988, Kinnock, who led the Labour Party until 1992, had been due to receive a Rover 820SE, in line with Cabinet ministers.

But documents released by the National Archives show Kinnock’s aide Sue Nye writing to the Government Car Service to question whether the chosen model would be ‘satisfactory’.

‘As you will be aware, Mr Kinnock travels a great deal on motorways where a more powerful engine is, of course, necessary’, she wrote.

‘I would therefore be grateful if you could investigate the possibility of the new Rover 820 having a more powerful engine.’

Mrs Thatcher approved the more powerful Rover 825-i (pictured), but wrote: 'In us meeting his request, I hope you will point out that some Cabinet ministers do similar mileage'

Mrs Thatcher approved the more powerful Rover 825-i (pictured), but wrote: ‘In us meeting his request, I hope you will point out that some Cabinet ministers do similar mileage’

Mrs Thatcher was asked to make a final decision and was informed that in nine months Kinnock ‘had clocked up 14,500 miles’.

She approved the more powerful Rover 825-i, but wrote: ‘In us meeting his request, I hope you will point out that some Cabinet ministers do similar mileage.’

Mrs Thatcher could have been referring obliquely to herself. 

Documents released earlier this year recounted how the PM’s hectic schedule meant she frequently took catnaps while on the road.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.