Thatcher unveils ThatcherBot 3000

Lady Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister and holder of the world handbag record, has unveiled the latest in a succession of robots that scary scientists have created to replace her and demanded that it be allowed late entry into the Tory leadership race.

Speaking via satellite link from her secret base below a disused oil rig in the North Sea, Lady Thatcher insisted that the 22-metre-high ThatcherBot 3000 is the Conservative Party’s only hope for victory over Labour in the next election. She drew attention to the machine’s positronic “brain”, which has been pre-programmed with a range of psychotically right-wing policies, and the high-powered lasers concealed in the chin for destroying Europe.

“My mechanical progeny is a clear choice to lead my beloved Party to victory in the next election,” the self-styled “Maniacal Mistress of Mayhem” pronounced. “Only with this combination of cutting-edge political programming and awesome destructive power can we make Britain great once again.”

She went on to say: “For ten long years now, I have brooded darkly in my bitter exile, and in this time I have come to realise that what this country needs is a gigantic mecha-me, both at the dispatch box and also on the battle-field. Our enemies in Europe and beyond shall feel my wrath dispensed by electrical proxy as my atom-powered proto-child negotiates terms and razes cities to smoking rubble.”

Thatcher then showed a fifteen-minute promotional video of the Statezoid criticising the level of control the Bundesbank exerts over European financial policy and crushing limousines between its hydraulic fingers, before urging the Party faithful to admit it into the leadership ballot “if you value Kensington and Chelsea”.

Political pundits predict that Lady Thatcher shall be granted her wish of seeing the destructobot lead the Conservative Party, pointing out that she still holds much sway over the elder statesmen and women who remember her stalking the corridors of power like a well-oiled stoat.

John Humphreys, presenter of Radio 4’s “Today” programme, opined that those who remember her will reflexively obey her without a second thought. He added: “And those who are younger would certainly have had True Blue parents who, in their pampered youth, told them Mrs Thatcher was coming to get them if ever they were bad.”

Kenneth Clarke, not currently the favourite in the leadership race, said he welcomed the additional challenge that the ThatcherBot 3000 would bring to the contest, adding that the mega-mecha could “count on my support” if it beat him to the finishing post. Sadly, Iain Duncan Smith was smacking badgers in Somerset and was unavailable for comment.