Introduction

Baroness Thatcher is the latest 20th century Prime Minister to be represented in Members' Lobby immediately outside the House of Commons debating Chamber. This over life-size bronze statue by Antony Dufort recognises her contribution to British politics during her three terms of office as premier and records her place in parliamentary history as the United Kingdom's first woman Prime Minister.

Her statue looks towards the doors of the Commons Chamber, facing that of Sir Winston Churchill by Oscar Nemon, which since the late 1960s has stood at the entrance to this historic Chamber, its foot touched in the early years for good luck by Conservative party Members before giving speeches in the Chamber and more recently by all those visiting the House. Since then, statues of David Lloyd George and Clement Attlee have been added to this historic space, together with busts of James Ramsay MacDonald, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Edward Heath, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Stanley Baldwin and Alec Douglas-Home.The parliamentary art collection of the House of Commons includes many painted and sculpted images of parliamentarians over the centuries, widely dispersed throughout the buildings of the parliamentary estate. Portraits of Prime Ministers line the Committee Corridor of the Victorian building, with more recent figures joining the House's contemporary collection which is on display in Portcullis House.

Members’ Lobby was chosen to display sculptures of Prime Ministers of the 20th century, because of its pre-eminence as the portal to the debating chamber, the centre of political life. Both interiors were rebuilt during the late 1940s by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott after the original Victorian Chamber and Lobby of the 1850s were destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War.