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MPs join 'Grantham Style' campaign for pro-Thatcher hit

Tory MPs have joined a campaign to get an obscure punk record about Baroness Thatcher to rival 'Ding Dong The Witch is Dead' at the top of the music charts.

Former MP Louise Mensch urged Thatcher supporters to buy the 1979 track 'I'm in Love with Margaret Thatcher' by the Notsensibles, using the 'Grantham Style' hashtag:

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Ding Dong song enters Irish Top 40

Controversy over Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead has spread to Ireland, where the song has soared into the charts.

The Judy Garland track today became the oldest recording ever to enter the Irish weekly top 40, as it premiered at number 33.

It is one of a number of versions of the song making sales in Ireland since the death of Baroness Thatcher.

RTE, Ireland's state broadcaster, said it will not ban the song.

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BBC DG: Wrong to ban Ding Dong song 'outright'

BBC director general Tony Hall said an outright ban of the Ding Dong record on Radio 1's chart show would have given the track more publicity:

I understand the concerns about this campaign. I personally believe it is distasteful and inappropriate. However, I do believe it would be wrong to ban the song outright as free speech is an important principle and a ban would only give it more publicity.

I have spoken at some length with the Director of Radio Graham Ellis and Radio 1 Controller Ben Cooper.

We have agreed that we won't be playing the song in full, rather treating it as a news story and playing a short extract to put it in context.

– Tony Hall
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Ding Dong record currently at No. 3 in charts

The song from the Wizard of Oz has sold thousands of copies since the death of Baroness Thatcher
The song from the Wizard of Oz has sold thousands of copies since the death of Baroness Thatcher Credit: Reuters

The Ding Dong song from the Wizard of Oz was at number three in the UK charts this morning but could still take top spot.

The record has sold about 12,000 fewer copies than the current chart-topper Need U (100%) by Duke Dumont, with the final sales coming in at midnight tomorrow.

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Buying anti-Thatcher Ding Dong song 'very cathartic'

Mark Biddiss, who started a social media campaign to get Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead to number one in the charts, said buying the song was "a very cathartic experience for a lot of people who feel that for many years they haven't been listened to".

He was joined on ITV's Daybreak by former Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken who said the song, which is on course for a place in the top five in Sunday's Offical Chart, was a "pretty feeble form of protest".

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Ding Dong song 'poses dilemma for Director General'

The sudden and unexpected popularity of a song from the Wizard of Oz is posing a major dilemma for the BBC's new chief, the Telegraph reports.

'Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead' has jumped to number four in the charts after anti-Thatcher campaigners adopted the song as their anthem in the days following the former Prime Minister's death.

Read: No BBC decision yet over 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead'

 Tony Hall started the £450,000-per-year post at the helm of the BBC last week
Tony Hall started the £450,000-per-year post at the helm of the BBC last week Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Director General Tony Hall is quoted as saying that while he thinks the campaign to make the song top the charts is "rather tasteless," the choice of whether to play the song on air is for news editors to make.

Supporters of Margaret Thatcher, including former Conservative treasurer Lord McAlpine, have expressed outrage that the possibility is even being considered, saying it is a matter of taste.

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Savile investigation suggested hours after his death

In one email headed "Jimmy Savile - paedophile", BBC producer Meirion Jones, who was involved in establishing the axed Newsnight report, flagged up the idea of an investigation just hours after the presenter's death was announced.

BBC producer Meirion Jones. Credit: Press Association

He proposed the suggestion, possibly for Panorama, because he said some of the girls who had been molested by Savile were ready to talk about their experiences.

He wrote: "Some of the girls are now prepared to talk about this which might make a core to a film about what Jimmy Savile really got up to - and of course he's dead so he can't sue."

His emails also contain vivid transcripts of the sexual activities in which girls at Duncroft approved school - where Savile was a regular visitor - were encouraged to take part.

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Patten: BBC transcripts paint a very unhappy picture

Chairman of the BBC Trust Lord Patten has said the Pollard review transcripts made public today by the corporation paint a "very unhappy picture".

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten. Credit: Press Association

He said in statement: "These documents paint a very unhappy picture, but theBBC needs to be open - more open than others would be - in confronting thefacts that lie behind Nick Pollard's report.

"A limited amount of text has been blacked out for legal reasons, but no one could say that the effect has been to sanitise this material, which again puts a spotlight on some of our failings. We need to acknowledge these shortcomings and learn from them."

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