Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's governing Conservatives opened their annual rank-and-file convention Tuesday in a mood of smoldering revolt against her hard-line anti-inflation policies.
Former Prime Minister Edward Heath's call for open revolt against the British government's economic policies set the stage for the start of the most controversial Conservative Party conference in years.
Growing discontent against MrS. Thatcher's tough monetary policies was pinpointed by him in a television interview on the eve of the conference. "It is no longer enough for the government to say there is no alternative economic policy, because many alternatives are being put forward," Mr. Heath said. "You cannot avoid the fact that valid criticisms are being made by our supporters."
A National Opinion Polls survey published in the London Daily Mail Tuesday indicated support for Mrs. Thatcher in the Conservative Party is slipping badly -- only 44 percent of Conservative voters polled now want her to remain as party leader. But a Gallup poll published in the London Daily Telegraph said 41 percent of those questioned said their opinion of Mrs. Thatcher had gone up since she became prime minister in 1979.