On 12th October 1984, a massive explosion destroyed the Grand Hotel in Brighton. It was an attempt by the IRA to assassinate the British Prime Minister, her entire cabinet and many of their friends and family, who were staying there at the time. It killed 5 people, including Conservative MP, Sir Anthony Berry. Mrs Margaret Tebbit and many others were badly injured. The bomb exploded at 2.54 am. The Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher was still working on the speech she was to deliver to the Conservative Party Conference the next day. Her bathroom was extensively damaged. She changed her clothes and together with her husband Dennis, was taken to Brighton Police Station, and then on to Sussex Police HQ, where they stayed until morning.
As Mrs Thatcher was escorted from the wreckage of the hotel, she informed the BBC reporter outside that the Conservative Party Conference would carry on as programmed. British democracy was too precious to be undermined by a mere bomb. Marks and Spencer opened its Brighton store at 8.00 next morning so that all the delegates who had lost clothes in the explosion could buy replacements. Mrs Thatcher opened the Conference at 9.30. am, exactly as it promised in the Conference Programme. But she did deliver a different speech from that which she had intended.
Today, the National Assembly for Wales has reacted to the presence of a picket line outside the new home of Welsh democracy by suspending all of its business for the day.