Sale of historic Downing Street visitors’ book halted due to ownership row

Government claims volume from time of Thatcher and Major, signed by the queen and many major figures, is crown property

The sale of a Downing Street visitors’ book from Margaret Thatcher and Sir John Major’s times in office has been postponed amid a dispute about its ownership, with the government claiming it is a piece of the nation’s history – and property.

The red leather book contains the signatures of famous visitors including royalty and world leaders such as the former US president Ronald Reagan and Diana, Princess of Wales.

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