Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died at the age of 87 following a stroke, her spokesman has confirmed.
Lord Bell said: “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning. A further statement will be made later.”
Baroness Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990 and was the first woman to hold the post.
Downing Street have confirmed that Margaret Thatcher will be acorded a funeral with military honours at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Tributes have flooded in, with former Tory leader Michael Howard saying: “She was a titan in British politics. I believe she saved our country.”
Buckingham Palace has said The Queen is “sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher”, and is sending a private message of sympathy to the Thatcher family.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said: “It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Lady Thatcher. We have lost a great leader, a great PM and a great Briton.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “She will be remembered as a unique figure. She reshaped the politics of a whole generation. She was Britain’s first woman Prime Minister. She moved the centre ground of British politics and was a huge figure on the world stage.”
“The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength.
“She also defined the politics of the 1980s. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and I all grew up in a politics shaped by Lady Thatcher. We took different paths but with her as the crucial figure of that era.
“She coped with her final, difficult years with dignity and courage. Critics and supporters will remember her in her prime.”
LibDem leader Nick Clegg said: “Margaret Thatcher was one of the defining figures in modern British politics.
“Whatever side of the political debate you stand on, no one can deny that as Prime Minister she left a unique and lasting imprint on the country she served.
“She may have divided opinion during her time in politics but everyone will be united today in acknowledging the strength of her personality and the radicalism of her politics.
RIP Margaret Thatcher. You transformed our country for the better, putting Great back in Great Britain, & helped open the Iron Curtain #fb
— Therese Coffey (@theresecoffey) April 8, 2013
BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson said: “The dominant figure of post war British politics is dead. Love her or loathe her Margaret Thatcher shaped this country as few others did.”
The dominant figure of post war British politics is dead. Love her or loathe her Margaret Thatcher shaped this country as few others did
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) April 8, 2013
London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “Britain has lost its greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “I have always said that Mrs Thatcher was a great inspiration to me personally. Whether you loved her or hated her nobody could deny that she was a great patriot, who believed passionately in this country and her people. A towering figure in recent British and political history has passed from the stage. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins, who set up his business in 1979, said:
“There is no doubt that Mrs Thatcher had a major influence on me and setting up Pimlico Plumbers.
“Her loss will be felt most by those who were given the confidence to make something of themselves, people like me who got the first big break at the time and those who remember the bad years of the 1970s.
“Her passion for private enterprise showed people they didn’t just have to get on the work treadmill, but could be entrepreneurial and make a success of themselves in business.
“Mrs Thatcher would undoubtedly make a good Prime Minister today. She didn’t sit on the fence, she wasn’t afraid to tell anyone, even world leaders, what she thought, not like the politicians who led us into the mess we are in today.”
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