Newly released files from 1985 and 1986

Margaret Thatcher shakes hands with Japanese MP Michio Watanabe during his visit to the UK in November 1983 (catalogue reference: PREM 19/1555)

Margaret Thatcher shakes hands with Japanese MP Michio Watanabe during his visit to the UK in November 1983 (catalogue reference: PREM 19/1555)

Today we have released files from 1985 and 1986, including papers from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Cabinet Office.

Highlights from the files

The files shed light on a number of events that took place in 1985 and 1986 including the Westland crisis, which prompted the resignation of Michael Heseltine (the then Defence Secretary) from the Cabinet. They also reveal discussions around the financial arrangements for the UK nations and the deregulation of the financial markets known as the ‘Big Bang’.

The files also show how the government tackled social issues such as football hooliganism. They cover discussions on various ideas and strategies to influence behaviour at football stadiums.

As ever, the files also reveal the comments and replies made by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Her response to the defection of KGB officer Oleg Gordievsky, where she provided comforting words of support, offers a different perspective of the Prime Minister who was well-known for being the ‘Iron Lady’.

Read more about the files below, as well as more information about the key events of 1985 and 1986 and changes to the British Cabinet during those years.

You can also listen to our podcast to hear contemporary records specialists Mark Dunton and Simon Demissie discussing highlights from the latest release and read more about the files on our blog.

 

Explore the files

Tags: 1985, 1986, cabinet office, file release, prime minister's office, thatcher

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