Get thee to a nunnery


London - Baroness Thatcher provoked outrage last night by claiming single parents and their children would be better off in religious orders than on welfare. In a speech in Kentucky, the former British prime minister deplored what she said was the high rate of illegitimate births.

"It is far better to put these children in the hands of a very good religious organisation, and the mother as well, so that they will be brought up with family values," she told an audience in the Commonwealth Convention Centre in Louisville.

Ms Maeve Sherlock of the Council of One Parent Families said: "Mrs Thatcher is sounding like someone from another age. Eighty years ago anyone who found themselves pregnant outside marriage was sent to the workhouse. That's not the kind of approach we want to modern families."