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Newspaper secures exclusive with Thatcher’s closest aide

A regional daily has secured an exclusive interview with an aide to Margaret Thatcher who spent the last 35 years working alongside her.

Cynthia Crawford, who now lives in the city, has turned down all other interview requests since the death of the former Prime Minister on Monday.

But the Worcester News persuaded her to speak to them about her time as personal assistant to the Iron Lady and splashed on the story yesterday..

Politics reporter Tom Edwards managed to speak to her and despite initially saying she would only answer a single question, he won her over and she chatted with candour about her relationship with Lady Thatcher.

John Wilson, deputy group editor at the Worcester News, said: “Old-fashioned persistence paid off for Tom. Mrs Crawford resolutely declined several requests for interviews but was swayed by an approach from her local newspaper.

“Her reminiscences provide a rare and touching insight into the life of an aide to one of the major figures of 20th-century politics.”

In the interview, Mrs Crawford revealing Lady Thatcher’s fondness for Worcestershire, where she holidayed for many years at a hotel in the county – the Cottage in the Wood, near Malvern.

The paper also spoke to staff at the hotel about her visits and published exclusive photos of her time there.

Mrs Crawford became assistant to Lady Thatcher in 1978, just months before she entered Number 10.

She told the News: “I am privileged to have been by her side for the last 35 years. I admire her beyond words. It was a truly amazing experience and I gave my life to her, really.”