Peter Robinson pays tribute to Baroness Thatcher


First Minister Peter Robinson paid tribute in the Assembly to former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher who died at the age of 87, on 8 April 2013.

Mr Robinson said Lady Thatcher had entered politics to make a difference and said the "United Kingdom was a better place" due to her tenure.

He acknowledged the irony of this given that he was twice thrown out of the House of Commons for disparaging remarks he made about her and the Anglo Irish Agreement.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said he did not agree with all of Lady Thatcher's politics but described her as "a remarkable public servant" who had made a "massive and positive impact not only in Northern Ireland or the UK but on global politics".

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell said Lady Thatcher was a divisive and "a somewhat hostile figure as far as nationalism was concerned" but he admired her as a "woman who broke through into the highest levels of politics".

Raymond McCartney of Sinn Fein said she would be "remembered for her shameful role in the hunger strikes".

"Working class communities in Britain were devastated because of her policies and her role in international affairs was equally belligerent," he said.

TUV leader Jim Allister said Sinn Fein "should hang their heads in shame for the scurrilous things they have said".

He added that he wanted the Union flag to fly at half-mast at Parliament Buildings on the day of the former prime minister's funeral.

David Ford, the leader of the Alliance Party, described Lady Thatcher as a "dominant force in politics" who knew what she wanted.

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