The Brighton Bomb
11th October 1984 – Brighton, England. The conservative Party faithful gathered for their annual conference at the celebrated Grand Hotel. As events moved into full swing, partygoers were blissfully unaware of the deadly explosive package hidden behind a bath panel in room 629. At 2.54am the bomb exploded, killing five and injuring many more.
The IRA bomb had struck at the heart of Government and tried to kill the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, narrowly missing her as she worked in her suite. As dawn broke the true audacity of the strike and how close Thatcher and her colleagues came to death became obvious. Despite this, she insisted the conference continued, much to the surprise of many colleagues and observers.
In The Brighton Bomb we hear from many who were close to events that evening. Robin Butler, Thatcher’s private secretary, who was with her when the bomb went off; Norman Tebbit, Cabinet Minster and confidante of the Prime Minister, who was badly injured and who’s wife’s injuries were so severe it meant she never walked again; and Michael Dobbs, then a Government advisor [now the author of the House of Cards TV series].
The story is also illustrated by contributions from local journalists and rescueworkers who witnessed the bomb and its aftermath first hand that night.