Lady Thatcher
The cost of Lady Thatcher's funeral next week is estimated at £10 million.

David Cameron was forced to seek the help of Labour leader Ed Miliband to force through his plan to stage yesterday's day of tributes to Lady Thatcher in parliament.

It has emerged that the Speaker, John Bercow, made his opposition to the plans clear, saying he saw no need for parliament to be recalled.

Bercow was "taken aback" by Cameron's request, he let it be known, taking the view that tributes could be paid when parliament reconvened next Monday, as had happened when leaders died in the past.

The cost of recalling parliament yesterday is thought to be £2million, with MPs each able to claim up to £3,750 after cutting short their holidays to return to London for the debate. The total cost of next Wednesday's funeral is estimated at £10million.

Cameron's decision to recall parliament caused a row with the Speaker's Office, with the Conservatives forced to turn to Miliband for support. Labour sources say they faced a "fait accompli", not wanting to be seen as failing to show respect.

Diplomats were left angry after being informed by the Foreign Office that they must wear formal mourning dress on the day of the funeral, even though it is not a state occasion.

A memo sent to embassies and hundreds of Whitehall staff told men to wear black ties and women to wear dark clothes on Wednesday - instructions usually reserved for the death of a head of state.

The Foreign Office confirmed the instructions had been issued on Tuesday night but said they were a mistake, adding that they would be withdrawn by today.

Sources said the Foreign Office received complaints "from the highest level" of the civil service.

The memo read: "Wednesday 17th will be a day of mourning. All staff are to wear mourning dress... Men are to wear dark suits and a black tie. Women should wear dark colours."

In the Commons yesterday, leaders of both parties trod a fine line between paying tribute to Thatcher's legacy and resurrecting her legacy of division. Both paid tribute to the strength of her conviction, and her overhaul of the British economy of the 1970s.

Barely 100 of the 256 Labour MPs attended, with many furious that her death is to be treated as a near-state military funeral when other prime ministers were not afforded such honours. Labour figures that stayed away from parliament included Lord Kinnock, Lord Hattersley and Gordon Brown.

Speculation that the Conservatives could benefit from a "Thatcher bounce" came to nothing, with a YouGov poll showing the Tories had fallen to 28 percent in the polls, with Labour on 42 percent and the Lib Dems on 12 percent.