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Margaret Thatcher funeral: Islington dad defends four-year-old son’s death chants

PUBLISHED: 13:40 17 April 2013 | UPDATED: 13:40 17 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher was the first female prime minister in Britain

Margaret Thatcher was the first female prime minister in Britain

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A father named Islington’s Volunteer of the Year has defended allowing his four-year-old son to scream “Thatcher’s dead, Thatcher’s dead” in the middle of Trafalgar Square.

A father named Islington’s Volunteer of the Year has defended allowing his four-year-old son to scream “Thatcher’s dead, Thatcher’s dead” in the middle of Trafalgar Square.

Today’s defence - of also singing Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead - came as thousands of people lined the streets of London for Lady Thatcher’s funeral.

Video footage of Howard Garrick’s son, Jack, went viral after the pair were seen “celebrating” the death of the former Prime Minister at the foot of Nelson’s Column with thousands of revellers on Saturday.

The footage shows the young boy stomping around, clapping his hands and shouting the slogan.

Mr Garrick, a former Pentonville prisoner who was awarded Voluntary Action Islington’s Volunteer of the Year for 2012 after turning his life around, said he was just “sharing” some of his “culture and history” with his son.

But the clip drew scorn from people online who were shocked by the footage.

When asked if he was an irresponsible parent, Mr Garrick said: “No absolutely not. Others might see it that way, but I’m a responsible parent and as part of my culture and history I was just sharing some of that with my son.

“I’m entitled to my political opinion. If my son copies other people that’s not his fault or my fault when everybody else is doing it.”

“It’s difficult to stop your son copying something other people are shouting.”

During the “celebrations” Mr Garrick was reported as saying; “He needs a grounding in life and to understand how we are not going to be made into wage slaves.”

A total of 16 people were arrested in Trafalgar Square and the surrounding streets overnight on Saturday and Sunday as revellers partied into the early hours.

Mr Garrick was awarded his accolade for helping the homeless after getting off the streets himself and setting up an emergency shelter in a local church. He is a homeless project co-ordinator at Holloway-based charity the Pilion Trust.


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