Margaret Thatcher has died

 
Peter Spence
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Baroness Margaret Thatcher has passed away following a stroke at the age of 87. Born in Grantham in 1925, Margaret Thatcher would go on to be the UK's first female Prime Minister, serving from 1979 to 1990. She led the Conservative party to three consecutive election victories.

As a party leader her rhetoric was fiercely supportive of free markets, saying that "there can be no liberty without economic liberty". She was greatly influenced by the thinking of Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich von Hayek, famously slamming a copy of his 'The Constitution of Liberty' onto a meeting table and declaring "this is what we believe".

During her time in office Thatcher dealt with the privatisation of British industry, and handled the Falklands conflict. She was herself the target of an IRA assassination attempt at a Brighton hotel in 1984. Towards the end of her life Thatcher's legacy was portrayed in film - 'The Iron Lady' - in which she was portrayed by Meeryl Streep.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair called the former leader a "towering political figure" and said that "even if you disagreed with her as I did on certain issues and occasionally strongly, you could not disrespect her character or her contribution to Britain’s national life."

Labour peer Lord Alan Sugar said that "Baroness Thatcher in the 80's kicked started the entrepreneurial revolution that allowed chirpy chappies to succeed and not just the elite". The Prime Minister's office Tweeted that "it was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We've lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton". David Cameron said that