Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke - Tributes paid to Iron Lady

Tributes have flooded in for Baroness Thatcher, after the former prime minister died aged 87 following a stroke.

Lady Thatcher is to have a funeral at St Paul's Cathedral with full military honours - the same status as accorded to the Queen Mother - in recognition of her huge influence on the country.

The Queen was said to be "sad" at news of the death, while David Cameron praised her as a "great leader" and a "great Briton". For Labour, Ed Miliband said she had "moved the centre ground of British politics", and Tony Blair credited her with changing the world.

Global leaders added their voices to the tributes, with Barack Obama saying Lady Thatcher had been a "true friend" to the US.

However, others on the Left condemned the social impacts of her policies encouraging the free market and stripping power from unions. Respect MP George Galloway sparked anger by tweeting "Tramp the dirt down" - a reference to an anti-Thatcher Elvis Costello song from the 1980s.

Legacy of Margaret Thatcher will live on for years

The former prime minister, who had suffered bouts of illness for many years, was said to have died peacefully.

Her spokesman, 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.”

Baroness Thatcher was the first woman to hold the post of prime minister when she led the Conservative Party to a general election victory in 1979. She held the post until 1990, winning three consecutive general elections.

She spent the next decade curbing the power of trade unions, signalling the end of an era when trade union leaders trooped in and out of 10 Downing Street, haggling and bargaining with her Labour predecessors.

Instead she stripped the unions of many of their powers, with the aim of transferring them to managements and individual consumers.

She successfully defied Arthur Scargill’s nationwide and year-long miners’ strike, which threatened to cripple Britain’s entire economic base.

And as she transformed the nation – attempting to release the grip of the state on massive industries and public services alike – she became one of the most influential, talked-about, listened-to and dominant leaders of the Western world.

Reaction to the death of Baroness Thatcher:

When Argentina invaded the Falklands, she despatched a task force to the South Atlantic that drove the enemy off the islands in an incomparable military operation 8,000 miles from home.

She has been in fragile health since she suffered a series of minor strokes more than a decade ago.

Baroness Thatcher, born Margaret Roberts, became the Conservative MP for Finchley, north London, in 1959, retiring from the Commons in 1992.

Adored and despised - Margaret Thatcher's legacy to live on

Having been education secretary, she successfully challenged former prime minister Edward Heath for her party’s leadership in 1975.

Many features of the modern globalised economy – monetarism, privatisation, deregulation, small government, lower taxes and free trade – were all promoted as a result of policies she employed to reverse Britain’s economic decline.

Above all, in America and Eastern Europe she was regarded, alongside her friend Ronald Reagan, as one of the two great architects of the West’s victory in the Cold War.

Of modern British prime ministers, only Lady Thatcher’s girlhood hero, Winston Churchill, acquired a higher international reputation.

Lady Thatcher had become increasingly frail in recent years following a series of small strokes in 2001 and 2002. Her daughter Carol also revealed in 2008 that she had been diagnosed with dementia, which had increasingly affected her memory for the last decade.

In recent years she had led a quiet life, cared for by her loyal housekeeper Kate. A minor stroke in 2002 left her with short-term memory loss.

Lady Thatcher was not well enough to join the Queen for a lunch with former and serving prime ministers as part of the Diamond Jubilee this summer. And two years ago she missed an 85th birthday party thrown in her honour by Mr Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

In October she was sufficiently well, however, to mark her 87th birthday with lunch at a restaurant in London’s St James’s district with Mark and his wife. And MPs and friends who saw her regularly said she remained alert and interested in politics. Her state funeral at Westminster Abbey will be the first for a British politician since Churchill’s in 1965.

Express & Star video journalist Nicky Butler asked Wolverhampton residents for their memories of Margaret Thatcher:

Do you have memories of Margaret Thatcher visiting your school or workplace in the Midlands? Get in touch with your thoughts and pictures - newsdesk@expressandstar.co.uk

See today's Express & Star for more reaction to Margaret Thatcher's death and leave your memories of the former prime minister in the comments below. Please use printable names:

Comments for: "Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke - Tributes paid to Iron Lady"

oldrocker

If you need a reason to hate her, try this . .

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith says Baroness Thatcher is "the reason I came into politics"

Gornalwolf

Love or hate her..... she changed the face of the nation RIP Mrs T !

Andy in Dorchester

RIP Mrs Thatcher. The greatest PM this country has ever had.

Black country Boilermaker

"greatest PM"!!!!!!!!!

She was a disaster,destroyed our manufacturing base,privatised railways and utilities,and undermined the NHS.We are still paying the price of her dogma now.

Thehoffsleftsock

Next you will be saying coal was a fuel of the future, everyone has a right to an opinion, I personally think she made a lot of "ballsy" decisions that many would have not made, but I believe she did it for the good of the country.

Just let her R I P

god elp them upstairs with maggie arriving

Bobwolf101

How does nailing the unions to the wall constitute a disaster?

How does cutting the amount we pay income tax(started under Thatcher) constitute a disaster? It doesn't.

The unions tried and failed to take her one....if they had not gone on strike for a year there might still have been a mining industry. Striking for a year bankrupted it...union is at fault...no ifs buts or maybes...especially in God's eyes.

Not forgetting the unions destruction of manufacturing.....continual striking is what killed it!!!!! No working - it makes no money!

The poll tax - was her devisive policy but the climate change nutters have made sure everyone coughs up tax via fuel duty!!!

Oh as for the jobless....her government gave them hope with training for work schemes and the like.

Brixton riots? Even Ken Livingstone said she listened and employed more policeman.

bilodave

Well said Black Country. Ignore the vile working class Tory trolls.

Mr Tommy

Why all this fuss over a woman that ruined our country???????

MARKTIPTON

Look at the state of this country now and she was the grand architect. She sold out the countries manufacturing base and became entirely reliant on Banking,look where thats got us

out and about

Mrs T and Her "Wrecking Crew " were no friends of the NHS She never used it .

imf

I grew up in the Thatcher years. I remember. I'll not shed a tear.

Laura

Why a full state funeral, where is the money coming from for this, when people are living well below standard and the same government are telling us that cuts are necessary, its disgusting that they manager to find the money for a funeral for a woman who helped ruin our country

werewolf

Margaret Thatcher never won the votes of more than a third of the electorate; destroyed communities; created mass unemployment; deindustrialised Britain; redistributed from poor to rich; and, by her deregulation of the City, laid the basis for the crisis that has engulfed us 25 years later.

Thatcher was a prime minister who denounced Nelson Mandela as a terrorist, defended the Chilean fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, ratcheted up the cold war, and unleashed militarised police on trade unionists and black communities alike. She was Britain's first woman prime minister, but her policies hit women hardest, like Cameron's today

boy from the REAL black country

...and she's directly responsible for the country being mugged by private utility companies who are raking in obscene profits! Amongst many other things...

zodiac speaking

Don't forget what the UK was like in the 70's before she came into power will you?

The 3 day week, rubbish not being collected, the dead not being buried, electricity going off, Britain almost bankrupt, Britain being held to ransom by the trade unions. Very rosy wasn't it?

Oh and Mandela was a terrorist, what do you think he was convicted of? He was the founder of Umkhonto we Siswe which was the ANC's terrorist arm and he never denounced violence-even when he was freed.

She also helped end the cold war if you read up about it you'll find this out.

But don't let the truth ever get in the way of a good story eh?

bilodave

Change the tune please Tories, I remember the 70,s with more affection than the eighties.

AndyH

Afternoon all,

history will judge her one way or another.....but she did what she thought was right at the time....unlike Tony B Liar and the liebour party who really wrecked the country! can't blame thatcher for everything as she's not been in power since 1990.........23 years ago....enough time to maybe fix any problems that she was meant to have caused.

regards

AndyH

oldrocker

I was going to make a comment but it's obvious it would be wasted on you.

AndyH

Morning,

feel free to comment - it's a forum and a point for debate mate....everyone has an opinion

regards

AndyH

South Coast Wolves

Good point Andy... why didn't labour put right the things that Maggie 'broke' in the 13 or so years they were in power after her? 23 years on and we still have the ant-trade union laws she bought in!

bilodave

She also said Tony Blair and New Labour were her greatest legacy, because he followed her policies so closely. In my opinion they should both rot in hell.

Gareth Edwards

RIP Britains last great leader the left will vilify you for standing up for the UK and putting the EU/unions in there place.

Only the workers and those with aspiration will see what great you did for Britain.

oldrocker

'said I'm all right Jack Gareth Edwards.'

Imf

Well and eloquently said.

AndyH

Evening all,

if you look at the names of the people who are denouncing her loudest....Jerry Adams!! (say no more ) George Galloway ( Saddams best mate) - Frankie Boil (your kidding me( etc)........as roosevelt said "Judge me by my enemies". I'd say she was pretty good in that respect then

regards

AndyH

Mike

Of all the people denouncing that woman, the people you name aren't even on the radar!

You say George Galloway was Saddam's best mate, totally ignoring the fact that Mrs T was really chummy with a certain General Pinochet, a really nice piece of work responsible for the murder of tens of thousands, at least. And before you link this with the Falklands, it was due to the fact that Chile was the dry-run for the monetarist policies in the '70s that were to be imposed on us in the '80s.

AndyH

Morning,

good point about pinochet there - and you have made the falklands link for me.....it was the right thing to do there. About the policies in th '80's.....should she have done nothing? I mean the end of the 70's were bad - winter of discontent - power cuts - unions running out of control - imo she did some good thing that needed doing. The socalist left had done a good job in wrecking the country and some tough decisions had to be taken.....i'm not syaing she was perfect but if we put it in a modern context we are constanly told now about how bad the economy was when the con/dems came to power yet thye ahve had 3 years to find a fix - Mrs Thatcher left power in 1990 - 23 years on and still she's meant to be the cause of problems in modern britain.....it's an easy excuse to make.

I only mentioned Galloway yesterday as his comments i found disgusting (respect for the dead).....jerry adams was even worse really.

regards

AndyH

olrocker

It's Gerry Adams unless you are trying to make a point that eludes me.

Bilodave

If you were as clever as you think you are you would also know that her Government gave millions to Sadam including arms. She also helped the CIA give arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Shortsighted wasn't she?

oldrocker

Interesting that the E&S run this story on the same day . . .

http://www.expressandstar.com/business/uk-money/2013/04/08/families-in-debt-to-energy-firms/

AndyH

Morning,

i know - it's a disgrace that the cost of energy has gone up so much and families are in real trouble.......but who is to blame...???? every polition currentyi in power could do somehting about this but they choose not to....big busisness pays polititions of all party colours do do nothing....how many mp's are in hock to "green energy" companies that adds hundreds of pounds to our bills in "green taxes" every year...yet produces nowhere near enough power to light / heat homes??

There is an argument to be had about powering the country but how to do it.....i'd go nuclear myself but.....it's still disgusting how much we are charged.

regards

Andy

Fiona

The finest ambassador Britain ever had. A real woman of substance; totally peerless.

oldrocker

"and the band played 'Believe It If You Like' "

antony j

her bringing in the poll tax is what made me leave England for Canada.

Derek

Parliament recalled, £10 million for a funeral, whatever next. William Hague states the UK can afford to pay for the funeral. How many nurses will £10 million pay for.

If people want to contribute to the cost fair enough but the hard pressed people of this country should not have to foot the bill.

LEE

R.I.P. Mrs T. You where the best. The day you stopped leading us, our once great country was finished, and will never recover.

The Halcyon days of your leadership. Just Fabulous.

Even the weather seemed better.

Liam

Love her or hate her you couldn't ignore her, I was 18 when she came to power - the whole decade of the 1970's was a complete train wreck. Unions were totally out of control, strike for this that or the other, continuous power cuts, inefficient labour practices, 98% income tax on the wealthy (and income tax revenues went down!). It was the 1970's that broke Labour, we saw what the country was becoming under socialism and it was anarchy. So we democratically elected the first woman leader in Europe (the feminists still can't get over Thatcher) and she showed she had a spine made of iron.

As for "destroying Britain's Manufacturing" that is a joke. It was already going down the tubes, we cannot compete with cheap labour from around the world, but get the unions out and automate and then we can - we make more cars in the UK now than we did then so don't give me that crap. As for the coal industry it was the likes of Scargill that put the nail in that industry - and the fact it is a dirty polluting fuel that was on its way out. We should pay people to mine a product we don't need? Ship building, again we can't compete, despite subsidies.

How about we think about what Tony Blair did? First thing he did was change none of the industrial policies of Thatcher - he knew the game was up for old Labour and they had to be real. Thatcher only made us take the medicine quicker than most other countries - those still clinging on to Socialist ideals are in a worse state than the UK (Spain/France etc).

But if it makes you feel better to blame Thatcher and not Blair then that's your choice. Reality is She was the strongest PM we have had in living memory - compared Cameron to her and you see what a light weight he is.