The world reacts to death of Thatcher

Angela Merkel German Chancellor

“The freedom of the individual was at the core of her convictions; in that sense Margaret Thatcher recognised the strength of the movements for freedom of eastern Europe early on and stood up for them. Margaret Thatcher was not a women's politician - but by asserting herself as a woman in the highest democratic office at a time when this was not yet a given, she was an example to many.”

Barack Obama President of the United States

“With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female Prime Minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As Prime Minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.

Maurice Saatchi Advertising guru and Centre for Policy Studies chair

“Everyone wants to be immortal. Few are. Mrs Thatcher is. Why? Because her values are timeless, eternal. Tap anyone on the shoulder anywhere in the world, and ask what Mrs Thatcher ‘believed in’, and they will tell you. They can give a clear answer to what she ‘stood for’. She developed all the winning arguments of our time – free markets, low tax, a small state, independence, individuality, self-determination. The result was a revolution in economic policy and three election victories in a row.”

Tony Benn Former Labour minister

“She did make war on a lot of people in Britain and I don’t think it helped our society.”

John Cridland Director-general of the CBI

“Baroness Thatcher’s leadership took the UK out of the economic relegation zone and into the first division. What Baroness Thatcher did to reshape the British economy gave us a generation of growth.”

Tony Blair Former British Prime Minister

“Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader.”

Nancy Reagan, wife of former US President Ronald Reagan

“Ronnie and Margaret were political soul mates, committed to freedom and resolved to end communism. As Prime Minister, Margaret had the clear vision and strong determination to stand up for her beliefs at a time when so many were afraid to ‘rock the boat’.”

Mark Littlewood Institute of Economic Affairs

“Today Britain has lost a remarkable woman and one of the most radical and free-market leaders it has ever seen ... Her greatest achievements were undoubtedly her economic reforms. During an immensely difficult time, she managed to steer the economy to safety by privatising state-owned industries, curbing the growth of government and reducing the stranglehold of the trade unions.”