Margaret Thatcher, UK’s first female prime minister, has died at 87 following a stroke, her spokesman has announced today.
Lord Bell said: “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.”
Margaret Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990.
PM David Cameron called Baroness Thatcher a “great Briton” and Queen Elizabeth II spoke of her sadness at the death.
Downing Street said Lady Margaret Thatcher would be accorded the same status of funeral as the Queen Mother and Princess Diana, but will not lie in state, in accordance with her own wishes.
Lady Thatcher, born Margaret Roberts, became the Conservative MP for Finchley, north London in 1959, retiring from the Commons in 1992.
Having been education secretary, Margaret Thatcher successfully challenged former Prime Minister Edward Heath for her party’s leadership in 1975 and won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987.
Margaret Thatcher’s government privatized several state-owned industries. She was also in power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982.
In a statement on the Downing Street Twitter feed, PM David Cameron said: “It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.”