Former Huntingdon MP and PM Sir John Major pays tribute to Margaret Thatcher

Lady Thatcher visits Huntingdon

Lady Thatcher visits Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

FORMER Huntingdon MP and Conservative Prime Minister Sir John Major today described Baroness Thatcher as a “true force of nature” and a “political phenomenon”.

Baroness Thatcher died this morning following a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell said. She was 87.

Lord Bell added: “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.”

The announcement sparked tributes from former and current political figures.

Sir John said: “In government, the UK was turned around under – and in large measure because of – her leadership.

“Her reforms of the economy, trades union law, and her recovery of the Falkland Islands elevated her above normal politics, and may not have been achieved under any other leader.

“Her outstanding characteristics will always be remembered by those who worked closely with her: courage and determination in politics, and humanity and generosity of spirit in private.”

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Baroness Thatcher, in the view of her admirers, took a country that was working at half-pace and put it back among the front-runners of the world. Her detractors saw her as the personification of an uncaring new political philosophy known by both sides as Thatcherism.

Current Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said: “Margaret Thatcher was without doubt one of the greatest leaders Britain has ever had.

“She was spirited, brave, intellectually astute and perhaps above all she was motivated by ideas and policy.

“To that extent she was not the sort of leader who people ignored. Some people loved Maggie and then again some did not. But for her admirers, she was the leader who broke the failing statist and union dominated post-war consensus that was driving Britain towards bankruptcy.

“As the Prime Minister when I was a student it was Lady Thatcher and her policies that encouraged me to join the Conservative Party and which inspired me to become an MP. Her spirit lives on in the current Party and she will certainly never be forgotten.”