Margaret Thatcher, the first British woman prime minister and the most dominant prime minister since Winston Churchill, has died. Lord Bell, her spokesman said, “It is with great sadness that Marl and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning. A further statement will be made later.”
Current prime minister David Cameron, who was in Europe at the time of the announcement, cut short his trip to return to London following the news. When reached for a statement, he said:
It was with great sadness that I learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great prime minister, and a great Briton.
As our first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds, and the real thing about Margaret Thatcher is that she didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country, and I believe she will go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister.
Condolences have since poured in from leaders around the world, describing Margaret Thatcher’s greatness and the impact in which she left during her reign as prime minister.
One notable message came from US President Barack Obama, who said that the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. He added that her premiership was “an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered”.
Margaret Thatcher had been in declining health for some years, suffering from dementia. The death of her husband, Sir Denis Thatcher, intensified her isolation in what had proved a frustrating retirement. After a series of mini strokes in 2002, she withdrew from public life.
She was 87 years old.
Rest in peace, “Iron Lady”.