Controversial author Salman Rushdie has said that he remembers late former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with the same complicated feelings he had for her while she was alive: disagreement with her politics, but gratitude for her support.
The Booker Prize winner said that Thatcher had a great life and offered protection to him when he needed it, referring to the period he was forced to go into hiding after Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini called for his death.
Stating that he had met Thatcher only once at an annual Scotland Yard gathering held for those being protected, Rushdie said that the former Prime Minister was very considerate and had a habit of touching anyone she was talking to, adding that he did not expect that touch of tenderness from her.
The report further said that however, politically, Rushdie was far to the left of Thatcher and mocked her before 1989, naming one character ‘Mrs Torture’ in his novel The Satanic Verses and at times using unprintable language when referring to her.
The report further added that when The Satanic Verses led to accusations of anti-Muslim blasphemy and to the Ayatollah's decree, Thatcher's government gave Rushdie round-the-clock supervision.