Britain's "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher launched a savage attack on Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday, accusing him of being soft on Europe and declaring he was a socialist at heart.
The former Conservative Prime Minister, who won three terms of power, went into battle for the June 7 general election as opinion polls suggested Blair's Labour Party would triumph by a landslide and that the Conservatives faced a second battering in four years.
"If you have a very powerful Labour government, a very large majority, it will be a socialist victory," Thatcher told the Daily Mail in an interview.
She accused Blair of having stolen many of her policies to win power in 1997 but said he had reversed them since then by stealth.
"There's a residue of socialism in him, that somehow he believes that government knows best... it's perhaps in his bloodstream," Thatcher said.
Warmly backing Conservative leader William Hague in his uphill struggle to overturn Blair's huge opinion poll leads of around 20 points, Thatcher lashed out at Labour on Europe and euro.
She denounced Blair's policy toward Europe as "devastating" and said: "The thought that we might be absorbed into Europe is to me utterly repugnant, and I'll fight against it as long as I have the breath to do so." -- LONDON (Reuters)
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