United Kingdom

Outrage as mystery prankster sets up memorial bench mocking the death of Margaret Thatcher

A prankster has set up a memorial bench cruelly mocking the death of Margaret Thatcher prompting outrage at the 'unpleasant and childish' act. 

The fake tribute bench was placed on the High Street in Wanstead, east London.

It stood there for several days before passer-bys noticed the crude barbs printed on the 'memorial' and the bench was removed.

The seat was set up as a 'pathetic' practical joke and has a plaque that reads: 'This bench is made from the same tree as the stake which killed Thatcher.'

The seat was set up as a 'pathetic' practical joke and has a plaque that reads: 'This bench is made from the same tree as the stake which killed Thatcher'

It also lists her birth and death dates as: 'Margaret Thatcher 1734 - 2013.' The UK's first female Prime Minister died in 2013, but she was born in 1925.  

It is a bizzare repeat of a similar practical joke two years ago when a bench appeared on the same High Street commemorating Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell blasted the practical jokers as 'pathetic' and 'childish' for going to the trouble of such a cruel prank

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell blasted the practical jokers as 'pathetic'.

He said: 'It's a very unpleasant and childish thing to do. I think it says more about the person that has wasted their time making this, than Mrs Thatcher.

'People should know that as long as Mrs Thatcher was Prime Minister, Wanstead was solidly Conservative.

'I don't know how it will go down in that area. It's a bit sad that someone has gone to such effort to produce something so ridiculous.'

The MP for Romford has his offices in Margaret Thatcher House.

Radio production journalist Tariq Khan came across the bench outside the High Street's pharmacy.

The 48-year-old said: 'First reaction was irritation. It seemed to me that it's someone making a political statement in a public space without anyone being able to challenge or debate it. It's a one-way conversation.

The plaque on the fake memorial bench also lists her birth and death dates as: 'Margaret Thatcher 1734 - 2013.' The UK's first female Prime Minister (pictured in 1979) died in 2013, but she was born in 1925

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, the MP for Romford, has his offices in Margaret Thatcher House

'These days we're often confronted by people's opinions everywhere, and I just found it annoying that it was happening in this rather childish way.

'I'm no fan of Thatcher. She's clearly a person who still evokes strong reactions in people, so I guess whoever it was chose their target well.

'Perhaps they just want to get the community talking about it while they sit back and watch. In which case, mission accomplished.'

He reported the bench which has now been removed. 

Conservative Prime Minister Thatcher, who won three general elections, was a controversial figure for her economic reforms.

She was Prime Minister between 1979 and 1990, and was dubbed the Iron Lady.

Despite her leaving office 30 years ago, Mrs Thatcher is still adored by her fans and hated by her critics.

The memorial bench is a bizzare repeat of a similar practical joke two years ago when a bench appeared on the same High Street with a plaque commemorating Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein (pictured)

Two years ago, a bizarre memorial bench to Saddam Hussein also appeared in Wanstead High Street.

The bronze tribute paid honour to the Iraqi dictator, who ran a brutal regime in the Middle Eastern country.

It read: 'In Loving Memory of Saddam Hussein, 1937-2006.'

It appears to be in the same font as the Margaret Thatcher bench.

Redbridge Council, which covers the area of Wanstead, has been contacted for comment. 

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