Thatcher the milk snatcher
The nickname was coined by Labour in opposition and the press after the government abolished free school milk for over-sevens in 1970 when Margaret Thatcher was education secretary.
But according to her memoirs and archives, Lady Thatcher herself had argued in cabinet against getting rid of free milk altogether. It was a policy driven by the Treasury, first under Iain Macleod, then Anthony Barber.
So in Barber’s first budget of October 1970, the policy was limited to children above the age of seven, and special schools and children with medical needs were excluded.
Dame Shirley Williams, arch socialist and Thatcher critic, stripped the milk from the hungry mouths of the under 7s in the Callaghan government (1977). Milk for 11-16 year olds had already been stripped from their hungry mouths in 1968 by the previous Labour government.