Lord Tebbit: Tories 'were right on South Africa'

Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit said Nelson Mandela was the leader of a movement that resorted to terrorism and the Tories were right to shun sanctions against South Africa at the height of the anti-apartheid struggle.

Lord Tebbit told BBC Radio 4's World At One: "You have to act within the constraints of the time and I get very irritated by people who judge the past by the present. It is not very sensible."

Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit.
Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit. Credit: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

"After all, if you do that you might finish up declaring that Cromwell was a terrorist and that wouldn't be a very sensible view to take, would it?"

Reminded that many Conservatives had called Mandela a terrorist in the 1980s, he replied: "He was the leader of a political movement which had begun to resort to terrorism."

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