Margaret Thatcher insisted on paying nearly £2,000 towards the search for her son after he went missing in the Sahara desert amid concerns of a public backlash over taxpayers' money being used, newly-released files reveal.
Mark Thatcher went missing for six days in January 1982 during rally, along with his French co-driver, Anne-Charlotte Verney, and their mechanic.
They were eventually found after a search by the Algerian military.
Records released for the first time to the National Archives show that Mrs Thatcher paid a total of £1,784.80 for the search operation to avoid any criticism over costs to British taxpayers.
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A quiet and calm afternoon with many places staying dry