Margaret Thatcher dead: spokesman
LONDON — Britain's former prime minister Margaret Thatcher has died following a stroke on Monday at the age of 87, her spokesman said on Monday.
- Published: 8/04/2013 at 07:04 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
"It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning," Lord Tim Bell said. "We'll never see the like of her again. She was one of the great prime ministers of all times. She changed people's lives. She is a fantastic person. She loved her country. She dedicated herself to improving people’s lives."
Britain's former prime minister Margaret Thatcher (AFP File Photo)
Baroness Thatcher, Britain's first and only woman prime minister, had become increasingly frail and was suffering ill health in recent years.
She was admitted to hospital shortly before Christmas where she underwent an operation to remove a growth from her bladder but was allowed to return home before new year.
When Thatcher took office in 1979, Britain's trade unions were strong enough to knock out party leaders they opposed, and key industries, including utilities, were state-owned. By the time she stepped down 11 years later, her arguments for free- market economics, lower taxes and deregulated financial markets had been adopted across the nation’s political spectrum.
The transition was painful. Unemployment peaked at more than three million in the mid-1980s, and many places in the north of the country that had been world centres of manufacturing struggled to adapt to the new service economy.
"She was, quite simply, one of the most influential political leaders that the UK, indeed the world, has ever produced,” said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London and author of "The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron" (2010).
Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth II was sad to hear the news and would send a private message to the family.
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- Writer: AFP and Bloomberg