Margaret Thatcher tops polls again – as best-selling PM novelty jug

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in September 1979 Credit: PA

Theresa May has performed better than Winston Churchill but trails Margaret Thatcher – when it comes to sales of Toby Jugs in Parliament.

The former prime minister struggled to dislodge the Iron Lady as the best-selling ceramic collectable bought by MPs, peers and visitors to Parliament in the last three completed financial years.

Sales figures provided by the House of Commons show 77 Theresa May Toby Jugs were sold between 2016/17 and 2018/19.

This compared with the combined total of 91 for two designs of Mrs Thatcher, who left the role of PM in 1990 after three terms.

Mrs May outsold Mrs Thatcher by 44 jugs to 38 in 2016/17 after she became PM in July of that period.

But they fell to 19 in 2017/18 and 14 in 2018/19 as she battled unsuccessfully to push through her Brexit deal, while Mrs Thatcher’s sales dropped to 21 before increasing to 32.

Mr Churchill was third with 73 in the three-year period, David Cameron fourth with 31, and Tony Blair and Clement Attlee joint-fifth on 23.

The least popular prime minister Toby Jugs included Edward Heath and Anthony Eden, who sold five apiece.

A novelty Toby Jug of former prime minister Winston Churchill which is for sale on the Houses of Parliament website Credit: UK Parliament/PA

The prime minister jugs are usually between 4in (10.5cm) and 4.5in (11.5cm) high and are sold for £29.95.

A House of Commons spokesman confirmed a Boris Johnson Toby Jug is currently in production.

Conservative MP Peter Bone told PA: “Clearly Mrs Thatcher was our best peacetime prime minister, and Winston Churchill the best wartime prime minister.

“Mrs May, I think lots of overseas people come over and buy souvenirs.”

A Margaret Thatcher Toby Jug Credit: UKParliament

Asked if Mrs May’s sales received a bounce as she was the incumbent prime minister during the three-year sales period, Mr Bone replied: “That can be the only reason.”

He added: “If you ask the Great British public for their number one prime minister, it will clearly be either Margaret Thatcher or Winston Churchill – Mrs May would not be top three.”

Mr Bone added he believes the Toby Jug of Mr Johnson will be “very popular” and said he would consider buying one himself.