News In Depth
PM's sympathy for Argentine mothers
Then prime minister Margaret Thatcher was thinking of "terrible" Exocet missiles and "Argentine mothers" on the night the Falklands War ended, one of her former press officers said.
Ian Kydd said he spoke privately to the Conservative leader inside 10 Downing Street shortly before midnight on June 14 1982 - a few hours after a ceasefire had been announced.
He said Mrs Thatcher told him: "I am relieved I will be able to go to sleep tonight without worrying about those terrible Exocets - and I'm sure Argentine mothers will feel the same."
Mr Kydd, a 64-year-old retired diplomat who worked in the Downing Street press office between 1981 and 1983, revealed the conversation in an interview with BBC Radio 5 live on the 30th anniversary of the end of the conflict. He also spoke to the Press Association.
Mrs Thatcher went inside number 10 after making a statement to MPs, speaking to journalists and greeting members of the public gathered in Whitehall, he said.
Mr Kydd - who was born in Arbroath, Angus, grew up in Edinburgh and lives near Cambridge - said he was left alone with Mrs Thatcher after a clerk handed paperwork to her.
"The two of us were just standing there," said Mr Kydd.
"I thought: 'Well, I can't really in circumstances just say goodnight Prime Minister, see you in the morning'.
"I thought something a little bit more profound was needed. The best I could come up with was: 'You must be so relieved it is over. It's a special moment'.
"I remember her response very well.
"She said: 'Yes, Ian, it is. I am relieved I will be able to go to sleep tonight without worrying about those terrible Exocets - and I'm sure Argentine mothers will feel the same'."
Mr Kydd said her reference to "Argentine mothers" surprised him.
"I don't think I expected something so personal," he added. "That's probably why it's stuck so vividly in my mind."
Mr Kydd said Mrs Thatcher - now Baroness Thatcher - was "resolute and determined". But he said he would not have expected her to be triumphalist.
"I think she felt very, very deeply, personally, about the boys, the soldiers, the military who were out there," he added.
"She wrote personal hand-written letters to the families of everybody who lost their lives. She knew the risks and the dangers and how many lives had been lost.
"She very clearly was worried about being woken up in the morning to the news that another one of the ships had been hit."
He added: "She would have been as aware and as conscious as anyone that lives would be lost - and lives would be lost on both sides."
Mr Kydd said Mrs Thatcher made a statement in the Commons at about 10pm then returned to Downing Street to speak to journalists waiting outside Number 10.
He said crowds had gathered in nearby Whitehall - and Mrs Thatcher "couldn't resist them".
"At the end of Downing Street, on Whitehall, there were a couple of hundred cheering folk," he said.
"The noise from the end of the street was overwhelming, with people singing 'Rule Britannia' and shouting and cheering. She just couldn't resist them.
"She broke off from speaking to the press and went down to the end of the street. It was quite chaotic getting 60 or 70 yards down to the public.
"There were very few police or protection officers with her because this was not anticipated.
"She just shook hands with the public at the end of the street and journalists were trying to ask her questions.
"It was a big, big moment. And I think she just felt there were these people down there who had made the effort to come down to celebrate what was a pretty amazing and important occasion.
"I think she just felt she ought to go to them."
Television footage showed Mr Kydd standing behind Mrs Thatcher as she spoke to reporters in Downing Street on the night of June 14 1982 - and showed Mrs Thatcher shaking hands with members of the public.
what do you think?
I can just see Cameron writing personal messages of condolence to the families of the lads fighting in theatre today. Not!
More likely too than Brown or Blair did thats for sure. They'd didn't have the decency to look the families in the eye or wipe the smug grins from there faces
At least with the falklands war we saw a begining and an end.Afghanistan is just a train wreck.