Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Saturday, 31 October 2009

29 March 1990: Poll tax row escalates

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House of Commons

In 1990, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher decided to push ahead with the poll tax, a flat-rate tax which would be levied on every adult in the UK, in spite of widespread opposition to the plan.

Opposition leader Neil Kinnock clashed with Mrs Thatcher over the tax; here asking her during prime minister's questions whether she would still introduce it if she had her time again.

"Yes, Sir!" she replied; adding that the plan was "infinitely preferable" to Labour's policies.

Mr Kinnock described this declaration as "claptrap".

Days after this Commons clash, riots broke out in central London as opponents of the plans took to the streets to make their views known.

Former Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine, then a backbench MP and opponent of the poll tax, challenged Mrs Thatcher for the Conservative Party leadership later in the year.

Although his leadership bid was not successful, it revealed the extent to which Mrs Thatcher's support in her party had declined - a revelation that prompted her resignation.

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