Comet country MPs pay tribute to former prime minister Margaret Thatcher following her death

PM Mararet Thatcher declares the final section of the M25 open in 1986

PM Mararet Thatcher declares the final section of the M25 open in 1986 - Credit: Archant

COMET country MPs have paid tribute to former prime minister Margaret Thatcher following her death.

Lady Thatcher, who was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990, died peacefully following a stroke this morning her spokesman confirmed.

North East Herts MP Oliver Heald said: “Margaret Thatcher was the pre-eminent statesman of her period and changed Britain for ever.

She made a huge impact on the lives of people in Britain and transformed the prospects of millions with reforms such as the sale of council houses and privatisation.

“On a personal level, she was very supportive when I was first a Conservative candidate and I will remember the warmth and magnetism of her personality, but above all, her resolute beliefs in what was right for the future of Britain.”

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Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries tweeted: “Only a few years ago I dashed into a gathering and she said ‘you, young lady are late’. I was 52 and felt five. Such a sad day.”

She also tweeted: “Margaret Thatcher enabled my single mum to buy her council house. The best thing any politician could ever have done for our family.”

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Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, said: “This will be a very sad day for her family and my thoughts are with them at this difficult time. Margaret Thatcher will always be remembered as the first female prime minister and Iron Lady that stood up to the Argentinians over the Falklands.”

North East Bedfordshire MP, Alistair Burt said: “Our first woman party leader and prime minister leaves an indelible impression on the country and on British politics. Beinf fortunate to have seen her at work, I have memories of both public and private time, of her kindness and her toughness.

“It is a measure of her achievement that her name alone is reference point for a British ear, but we should not forget that with her part in the ending of the Cold War, she also made the world a safer place. Genuinely no one quite like her ever again.”

MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, Peter Lilley said: “My immediate reaction is a huge sense of loss. But at the same time it brings to mind vivid memories of working for her and serving in her cabinet. My earliest memories from when I was a humble speech writer are of how kind she was - the less important you were the kinder she was.

“Of course she gave her ministers a hard time, and quite right too, since she was determined to make sure we got things right,” he said.

“The great thing about her was that she was a conviction politician who had strongly held principles; yet at the same time she was cautious and always considered any policy in detail of which she had a stunning grasp. But once she decided that something was both right in principle and attainable in practice she would drive it through with great courage. She helped turn Britain round from seemingly terminal decline to become the fastest growing major country in Europe. We owe her an immense debt,” he added.

A visit by Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, to Stevenage Town Centre this afternoon, has been cancelled as a mark of respect to Baroness Thatcher.

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