David Cameron's Statement on Lady Thatcher

Baroness Thatcher, Prime Minister from 1979-1990, the first woman to hold the post and longest serving of the twentieth century, died on 8 April 2013.
Watch and read Prime Minister David Cameron's statement following her death at the age of 87.

Today we lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister, and a great Briton. Margaret Thatcher didn’t just lead our country; she saved our country. And we should never forget that the odds were stacked against her. She was the shopkeeper’s daughter from Grantham who made it all the way to the highest office in the land.

There were people who said she couldn’t make it, who stood in her way, who said that a woman couldn’t lead, and she defied them all. She fought her way to a seat in parliament, to the leadership of her party, and then to lead our country. And she won the backing of the British people three times in a row.

She will be remembered for the great political battles that she fought, taking on the union barons, privatising industry, unleashing enterprise, rescuing our economy, letting people buy their council homes, winning the Falklands War, strengthening our defences, and helping to win the Cold War. Margaret Thatcher took a country that was on its knees and made Britain stand tall again.

We can’t deny that Margaret Thatcher divided opinion. For many of us, she was, and is, an inspiration. For others, she was a force to be defined against. But if there is one thing that cuts through all of this, one thing that runs through everything that she did, it was her lion-hearted love of this country. She was the patriot Prime Minister, and she fought for Britain’s interests every step of the way.

It is over 30 years since she first stood here in Downing Street as Prime Minister, and yet her impact here and abroad is still remarkable. When you negotiate in Brussels, it’s still her rebate you’re defending. When you stand in Budapest, Warsaw or Prague, you’re standing in nations whose liberty she always defended.

When today we admire some of Britain’s strongest companies, they are the ones she helped transform from being failing state monoliths to successful private businesses. When people said that Britain could not be great again, she proved them wrong.

Margaret Thatcher loved this country and she served it with all she had. For that, she has her well-earned place in history and the enduring respect and gratitude of the British people. To show its respect, the Speaker has agreed to recall Parliament on Wednesday for a special session at which tributes will be paid.

Finally, let us remember that Margaret Thatcher was not just a great statesman, but also a mother and a grandmother, and we should think of her family tonight. Thank you.
You can send your condolences via the 10 Downing Street website.




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