Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke: Reaction as it happened

Key Points

  • Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the age of 87 following a stroke
  • She was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990, the first woman to hold the post
  • Baroness Thatcher will not have a state funeral but will be accorded the same status as Princess Diana and the Queen Mother
  • Baroness Thatcher died "peacefully" at the Ritz hotel in central London, where she had been staying since December
  • Prime Minister David Cameron called her a "great Briton", and the Queen spoke of her sadness at the death
  • The ceremony, with full military honours, will take place at London's St Paul's Cathedral
    Breaking News

    Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died at 87 following a stroke, her spokesman says.


    Lord Bell said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning."

    Baroness Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990

    Baroness Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990, and the first woman to hold the post.

    Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets: The dominant figure of post-war British politics is dead. Love her or loathe her, Margaret Thatcher shaped this country as few others did.

    Breaking News

    The Queen is sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher and will send a private message of sympathy to the family, Buckingham Palace says.


    The BBC News website's main story on the death of Baroness Thatcher can be found here.


    Prime Minister David Cameron tweets his first reaction: "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."

    Margaret Thatcher at the 1983 Conservative Party conference

    Baroness Thatcher was one of the most influential political figures of the 20th Century, Nick Robinson writes in an obituary.

    James Landale Deputy political editor

    Due to her frailty, Baroness Thatcher had been spending some time at the Ritz Hotel in London. I do not know whether she died there or had returned home.

    Mrs Thatcher launching the Conservative Party manifesto, 1983

    To see Baroness Thatcher's life in pictures, click here.


    Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman tweets: My condolence to Thatcher family. First woman pm, a towering figure in British politics.


    "I love argument. I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me - that's not their job," said Baroness Thatcher in 1980. For more key quotes from the former Conservative prime minister click here.

    The Thatcher Foundation

    tweets: A very sad day. Our thoughts at this time are with Baroness Thatcher's friends and family.

    Breaking News

    Downing Street says Lady Thatcher will 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.

    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles

    tweets: Margaret Thatcher gave this country the confidence to believe in itself. A Great PM and the Great Britain.


    John Whittingdale MP, her former political aide, said those who worked for Baroness Thatcher saw a different side to the public figure. He said she was kind and compassionate, and inspired huge loyalty.


    Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith says Baroness Thatcher is "the reason I came into politics". He adds: "Watching her set out to change Britain for the better in 1979 made me believe there was, at last, real purpose and real leadership in politics once again. She bestrode the political world like a colossus. This is dreadfully sad news and my thoughts and prayers are with her family."

    Labour MP Mike Gapes

    tweets: Margaret Thatcher achieved something unique First (and only so far) woman PM. Today should be about respect. Let's debate her legacy later.


    Her spokesman Lord Bell told the BBC she was one of the greatest prime ministers this country has ever seen. "She had an extraordinary aura and charisma, and she transformed people's lives in this country and around the world."


    Senior Tory MP David Davis says Baroness Thatcher was "the greatest of modern British prime ministers". "Her passing is a very sad event and she will be greatly missed," he says.

    Lib Dem MP Tom Brake

    tweets: My condolences to the Thatcher family. Mrs Thatcher made me & many of my generation Libs. But some of the battles she fought had to be won.


    Prime Minister David Cameron is cutting his trip to Europe short following death of Baroness Thatcher, Sky News reports.


    The Argentine invasion of the Falklands roused Margaret Thatcher's basic instincts to defend what she saw as fundamental British interests, writes former BBC correspondent, Paul Reynolds.

    Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sitting beside her portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in London

    Lady Thatcher had suffered poor health for several years.


    London Mayor Boris Johnson tweets: "Very sad to hear of death of Baroness Thatcher. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today's politics."


    Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger tells the BBC Baroness Thatcher was a "great leader" and a "good friend of the US". He said he found her a "warm person however forcefully she defended her views".


    Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says: "Margaret Thatcher was one of the defining figures in modern British politics. Whatever side of the political debate you stand on, no-one can deny that as prime minister she left a unique and lasting imprint on the country she served."

    Fraser in Poole

    emails: I will not only remember Baroness Thatcher as a mighty political figure who struggled to change Britain and its relationship with Europe, but also as another individual who had to struggle in later life with all of the horrors of Alzheimer's. May she rest in peace.

    Breaking News

    Downing Street has confirmed that Prime Minister David Cameron will return home early from Spain, where he had been in the country for talks with EU leaders, this afternoon.

    Craig Eastman in Mold, North Wales

    emails: Growing up as I did in Scotland during the '80s, I think it's fair to say there was little love lost between my generation and Baroness Thatcher. What I will grant her is that she was a woman who did not shy away from difficult decisions.


    The Northern Ireland conflict loomed large during the Thatcher era - this was a woman to whom the region was every bit as British as her Finchley constituency. Read more about how Baroness Thatcher's tenure was shaped by Ireland.


    Lady Thatcher became patron of dementia research charity Alzheimer's Research UK in 2001. Her daughter Carol revealed that her mother had been diagnosed with dementia in 2008. Rebecca Wood, charity chief executive, says her death will "resonate across the world but in particular with the 820,000 people living with dementia in the UK". "Thanks to Lady Thatcher, we have made inroads with our research to defeat dementia. The answers will come too late for her, but they will come, and this will be another important part of our collective memory of her life and work," she says.


    Baroness Thatcher will receive a ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul's Cathedral, Downing Street says. She will not lie in state, according to her wishes.

    Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron

    David Cameron is expected to give a press conference when he returns from Spain this afternoon.


    The Guardian newspaper describes the former prime minister as a "political phenomenon".

    Kevin Stanley

    emails: As a Labour follower at the beginning of Mrs Thatcher's years, I changed to follow her beliefs that the UK was indeed a great country. She gave us back our pride and - during the Falklands War - put us back on the map.


    BBC political reporter Daniel Davies considers her impact on Wales - and how she polarised view around that country.

    A BBC News viewer

    texts: Whilst paying our respects, we should not seek to rewrite history - swathes of communities paid the price for the economic policies of Baroness Thatcher.

    British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and husband Denis Thatcher outside her residence at 10 Downing Street, London in this undated file photo

    The union jack above Number 10 has been lowered to half-mast. Here is the former prime minister pictured with her husband Denis Thatcher outside her residence in this undated file photo.


    UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage called Lady Thatcher a "great inspiration", adding: "Whether you loved her or hated her nobody could deny that she was a great patriot, who believed passionately in this country and her people. A towering figure in recent British and political history has passed from the stage. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family."


    Gerald Howarth MP, a former parliamentary private secretary to Baroness Thatcher, says she was a divisive figure but it was because she had such a "clarity of vision". He said her "fantastic" legacy would be the transformation of the economy and the restoration of Britain as a major force for good in the world.

    A floral tribute is left outside the residence of Baroness Thatcher in Chester Square London

    The BBC's David Lister says floral tributes are already being left outside Baroness Thatcher's Belgravia home. One reads: "RIP Maggie Thatcher. The greatest British leader and a true lady."

    Foreign Secretary William Hague

    tweets: She changed our country forever and all of us owe so much to her. A legacy few will ever equal. Rest in peace Margaret


    BBC political editor Nick Robinson looks back at the life of the former prime minister.


    Margaret Hilda Thatcher was born on 13 October 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, the daughter of Alfred Roberts, a grocer, and his wife, Beatrice. Her father, a Methodist lay preacher and local councillor, had an immense influence on her life and the policies she would adopt. For more about the late former prime minister's life, click here.


    Lord Owen, former SDP leader, tells the BBC she had considerable strengths - in sorting out the economy and retaking the Falklands - but her weakness was on the social side.

    Chuka Umunna, shadow business secretary

    tweets: Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Baroness Thatcher's family today. A global political figure and our first female PM


    Ukrainian MP Vyacheslav Kyrylenko tells BBC Ukrainian: "Margaret Thatcher has passed away… Together with Ronald Reagan, she came to represent a whole era of world history - the era of the fall of the Iron Curtain."

    Breaking News

    Prime Minister David Cameron says it is a "truly sad day for our country" and "we have lost a great prime minister, a great leader, a great Briton".


    Mr Cameron says Baroness Thatcher will go down as the "greatest British peacetime prime minister", in an interview recorded in Spain, where he has been holding talks with EU leaders.

    Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell

    tweets: Margaret Thatcher was an extraordinary woman but mostly for the wrong reasons. Emasculated local government & civil liberties. Section 28


    The BBC has compiled a pictorial take on the life of Margaret Thatcher, one of the dominant political figures of 20th Century Britain.


    Baroness Thatcher's former Cabinet minister, Lord Tebbit, writing in the Daily Telegraph, says "the death of this great lady was a merciful release".


    Labour former home secretary David Blunkett says: "Margaret Thatcher was a most formidable opponent, undoubtedly an outstanding leader and, as the first woman prime minister in the United Kingdom, a groundbreaking politician."


    Labour leader Ed Miliband says she was a "unique figure" and while Labour disagreed with much of what she did, the party respected her.


    Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams tells RTE News: "Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister."

    A H in Huddersfield

    emails: Like her or loathe her as a political figure, one cannot deny she was a genuine colossus in the world of politics who believed in what she said.


    David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners' Association, says "there's no sympathy from me for what she did to our community". He adds: "She destroyed our community, our villages and our people."

    James Landale Deputy political editor

    Baroness Thatcher is the benchmark against which all subsequent British prime ministers have measured themselves, not just in terms of policy but characteristics.


    Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, tweets: "Terribly sad news that Lady T has passed away. She brought me into politics and remains an inspiration to this day." Margaret Thatcher became Conservative MP for Finchley, north London in 1959.

    Downing Street

    The union jack has been lowered to half mast at Downing Street.


    Sir John Major, who replaced Lady Thatcher as prime minister in 1990, calls her a "true force of nature". He adds: "Her reforms of the economy, trades union law, and her recovery of the Falkland Islands elevated her above normal politics, and may not have been achieved under any other leader. Her outstanding characteristics will always be remembered by those who worked closely with her - courage and determination in politics, and humanity and generosity of spirit in private."

    Maria Eagle, shadow transport secretary

    tweets: I know how I felt when I lost my mum. Condolences to the Thatcher family especially Carol & Mark on this difficult day for them.


    Comments on BBC Africa's Facebook page reflect the controversy surrounding Mrs Thatcher's legacy. Mpapi Joseph Kgahle says: "Let us not forget she supported apartheid in SA [South Africa]", but for Sassan K Darian, "no sensible person can deny her intelligence, wit, and influence. The fact is that she was prime minister for 11 years as a woman... She stood up to totalitarianism and was a force one did not want to reckon with. She was truly a transformative and vital leader of our time."


    "She coped with her final, difficult years with dignity and courage. Critics and supporters will remember her in her prime" - read Labour leader Ed Miliband's statement in full.


    The former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, says the former UK PM was a great politician, who will go down in history. Baroness Thatcher had famously called Mr Gorbachev a leader "the West could do business with", as he laid the foundations for an end to the Soviet era.


    Charles Moore, ex-Daily Telegraph editor, tells the BBC it is important to remember that Baroness Thatcher was an outsider who shook up the establishment, the reverberations of which continue. He said in taking on the unions and reducing the number of days lost to strikes, "a lot of harmony was produced as well as the division".


    Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair says she was a "towering political figure". "Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world," he adds.


    David Cameron tweets: "Lady Thatcher didn't just lead our country, she saved our country."


    Former chancellor Lord Lawson said she and her colleagues had "certainly saved the country from a very, very weak economic condition that may have been irreversible if she hadn't come along".


    On where she went wrong, ex-Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore says she treated senior colleagues badly towards the end and although she was often attacked for dismantling the welfare state, it was unfinished business which is still being dealt with today.


    UKIP leader Nigel Farage says Lady Thatcher was a "great inspiration". "Whether you loved her or hated her nobody could deny that she was a great patriot, who believed passionately in this country and her people," he adds.

    Labour leader Ed Miliband

    tweets: I send my deep condolences to Lady Thatcher's family, in particular Mark and Carol Thatcher.


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said in a statement: "Today I mourn the passing of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She was truly a great leader, a woman of principle, of determination, of conviction, of strength - a woman of greatness. She was a staunch friend of Israel and the Jewish people and she inspired a generation of political leaders. I send my most sincere condolences to her family and to the government and people of Great Britain."

    Nick Robinson Political editor

    What is clear from all the reaction we are getting is that you simply can't - and couldn't be - indifferent about Margaret Thatcher. We are hearing reactions from across the political spectrum and from people who believe that she shaped, not just the country and British politics, but also them - that so much of the politics that followed was influenced by what Margaret Thatcher did. I think if I had to add just one word it would be belief. For live coverage from the BBC News Channel, click here.

    Shadow chancellor Ed Balls

    tweets: Very sad to hear of the death of Margaret Thatcher. Our first woman PM, she was the one who truly 'broke the mould' of British politics.


    Jeffrey Archer, Tory party deputy chairman in the 1980s, says Lady Thatcher's greatest strength was that when she believed in something for the good of the country she did not take any notice of opinion polls or focus groups. "She had a strength of character I have never seen equal in my life," he says.


    Ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone tells Sky News Baroness Thatcher's policies were "fundamentally wrong". "She created today's housing crisis, she produced the banking crisis, she created the benefits crisis. It was her government that started putting people on incapacity benefits rather than register them as unemployed because the Britain she inherited was broadly at full employment," he says.


    Labour will suspend campaigning in the local elections until further notice as a mark of respect following Baroness Thatcher's death, a senior party source tells the Press Association.


    Former political opponent Lord Neil Kinnock says: "I recognise and admire the great distinction of Baroness Thatcher as the first woman to become leader of a major UK political party and prime minister. I am sorry to hear of her death and offer my sympathy to her family."

    Woman lays flowers outside Thatcher's home

    Floral tributes have started to arrive outside Lady Thatcher's home in central London.


    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond describes Baroness Thatcher as a "truly formidable prime minister whose policies defined a political generation".

    "No doubt there will now be a renewed debate about the impact of that legacy. Today, however, the proper reaction should be respect and condolences to her family," he adds.

    flag at houses of parliament

    The union jack has been lowered at the Houses of Parliament


    It was in London that Baroness Thatcher's political career officially began when she was elected as MP for Finchley in 1959. She served the constituency throughout her time as prime minister and only stepped down two years after leaving Downing Street. BBC London's political correspondent Karl Mercer meets former constituents to look back at her career as their MP.


    A Chinese reader in Shanghai tells BBC Chinese: "From the film The Iron Lady to shortwave radio broadcasts of the BBC, I almost grew up with news about Mrs Thatcher. I was very touched by the movie. I was the only one watching in the theatre - young kids nowadays won't understand all this."


    David Cameron praised Baroness Thatcher as ''the greatest British peacetime prime minister''. Watch the full recording of his interview here.


    Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown says: "If politics is defined as having views, holding to them and driving them through to success, she was undoubtedly the greatest PM of our age."


    Ex-Conservative leader Michael Howard - who led the party between 2003-2005 - tells BBC Radio 5 live there were a lot of myths about Lady Thatcher.

    "It's often said she was a divisive figure and in many ways she was because she had to be. Because the problems that faced the country in 1979 couldn't have been dealt with by consensus. You had to decide if you were prime minister what the right thing for the country was and go ahead and do it."


    Margaret Thatcher's early life as a grocer's daughter was a far cry from the sometimes lavish surroundings she later found herself in as Britain's first female prime minister. And it seems her relatively modest upbringing stayed with her even after she entered No 10. Government papers from 1979, made public in 2011 by the National Archives, suggest she insisted on paying for her own ironing board and dictated that spending on her official residence at No 10 should be as "economical as possible".

    Political blogger Guido Fawkes

    has suspended his blog and replaced it with a full page image of Thatcher:

    Margaret Thatcher with her parents and sister, Muriel, 1945

    She was born Margaret Hilda Roberts in Grantham, Lincolnshire, in 1925, the daughter of a local grocer.


    The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow says one her legacies was identifying Mikhail Gorbachev as a man the West could do business with. He said the relationship between Thatcher, Gorbachev and Reagan accelerated the end of the Cold War and the falling of the Iron Curtain.

    James Landale Deputy political editor

    Downing Street say Lady Thatcher's funeral will begin at Westminster at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, known as "the crypt". Her coffin will be taken by a hearse to the RAF Chapel, the church of St Clement Danes in the Strand. There her coffin will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King's Troop Royal Artillery.

    Vladimir Hernandez BBC Mundo

    adds: "In Chile, Thatcher is remembered for her uncompromising defence of the neoliberal economic model that prevailed in the end with the military government of Augusto Pinochet."


    Paul Adams, in Washington, says few people are aware of Baroness Thatcher's death because it is still the early hours. But he says he expects quite considerable reaction later.

    Very few foreign politicians - let alone former politicians - have any kind of profile in the US but Margaret Thatcher is one exception to that. The fact that Thatcherism exists as a term in the political lexicon and Conservative politicians name-check the former PM speaks volumes, he says.

    James Landale Deputy political editor

    More funeral details: The coffin will then process down the Strand, through the Aldwych, then along Fleet Street before rising up Ludgate Hill to St Paul's Cathedral. The route will be lined with members of all three armed forces. At St Paul's, there will be Chelsea Pensioners lining the steps. And Downing Street have said it is the suggestion of the Thatcher family that if there are any members of the public who wish to mark her death, they could make a contribution to the Royal Hospital at Chelsea.


    Former BBC political editor John Cole shares his experience of reporting Lady Thatcher's premiership - and the moments he managed to trick her into saying something unexpected.


    Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh tweets: "I express my deepest sadness on the passing away of former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher. She was a transformative figure under whom the United Kingdom registered important progress on the national and international arena."

    Paul Bennett in Co Kerry, Irish Republic

    tells the BBC: I met her in 1984 during the spring conference in Birmingham. I was asked to work as a bodyguard, and stood at the bottom of the stage keeping her at a distance. She was very natural, very ordinary to talk to - a charming woman with no pretentions.


    Matthew Price, in Brussels, says many people will say that Europe defined her legacy. Here was a woman who had an impact and left a legacy everywhere that she worked, and that is absolutely the case in Europe.


    From her early forays into politics at university at Oxford to her controversial legacy, here is an at-a-glance guide to the extraordinary life and career of Margaret Thatcher.


    In an era in which politicians are all too often greeted with indifference, it is easy to forget that Britain was once led by a woman who inspired passion - both love and loathing, writes BBC political editor Nick Robinson.


    Lots of comments from BBC Russian followers, including this one from Radif Garipov on social network V Kontakte: "She was the Iron Lady who had our Gorby [Mikhail Gorbachev] under her high heel."


    Lady Thatcher will be remembered by some for her uncompromising position during the 1984 miners' strike. Union leader Doug Nicholls, who was active at the time, said: "Thatcher I will always associate with the de-industrialisation of Britain.

    "And it's not so much her union-busting that she should be remembered for, but her busting of what goes to make a national economy: industry, public services, collective bargaining, respected trade unions and nationalised utilities."


    The Guardian has produced this interactive presentation showing key events of Margaret Thatcher's premiership - from the battles with unions to the Falklands War - and how they affected her popularity.


    Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah have sent messages of condolences to Lady Thatcher's son Mark and daughter Carol.

    He said: "She will be remembered not only for being Britain's first female prime minister and holding the office for 11 years, but also for the determination and resilience with which she carried out all her duties throughout her public life. Even those who disagreed with her never doubted the strength of her convictions and her unwavering belief in Britain's destiny in the world."


    The BBC's Robin Brant, outside the Ritz Hotel in central London, says it is understood the late baroness had been living there, convalescing since she had an operation for a bladder infection at Christmas. She had been living there as a guest of the Barclay brothers, who own the hotel. What is not clear is whether she was there last night or whether she died here, says our correspondent.


    Somerville College, Oxford, where Lady Thatcher studied chemistry from 1943, has paid tribute to the "truly pioneering spirit that propelled her to the pinnacle of British political, and public, life". Its statement adds: "We are immensely proud to have educated Britain's first - and so far only - female prime minister."


    Baroness Thatcher will be forever remembered "for her decisiveness in sending a task force to liberate our home following the Argentine invasion in 1982", Mike Summers, of the legislative assembly of the Falkland Islands says.

    Jeffrey Archer, former Conservative party deputy chair

    tweets: Shakespeare says it all - now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies a lass unparalleled.

    The Ritz Hotel

    Black hoarding has been erected around the back entrance to the Ritz Hotel, where members of the media have gathered. There are also uniformed police at the scene, who are there for traffic management, says the BBC's Robin Brant.


    European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso described her as "without doubt a great stateswoman... a circumspect yet engaged player in the European Union".


    Mirror columnist Kevin Maguire writes that while Margaret Thatcher's children deserve our sympathies, there are no tears for Thatcherism.

    "Opponents, including me, remember the poverty, riots, mass unemployment, strife, grotesque growth of inequality, seeds of the banking crisis and destruction of the mining industry and communities."

    M Alexander

    texts: I have the utmost respect for Baroness Thatcher. She put her country first and believed in Great Britain and its people. She possessed courage and was an example to all of us with her dedication and passion.


    Lord Jopling, who as Michael Jopling was one of Margaret Thatcher's longest-serving cabinet members, said she did many things that needed to be done.

    Personally, he said, she was generous and sympathetic. He recalled one Christmas when she asked him, as chief whip, whether any MPs would be alone at Christmas, as she would invite them to Chequers.

    A picture dated December 3, 2008 shows Baroness Margaret Thatcher at the State Opening of Parliament in London

    The official flag in Lady Thatcher's birthplace is flying at half-mast in honour of "Grantham's most famous daughter". The mark of respect is being made at the St Peter's Hill office of the South Kesteven District Council (SKDC), council leader Linda Neal says. Lady Thatcher held a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitled her to a seat in the House of Lords.


    A spokesman for the British Embassy in Washington DC says there are plans to open a book of condolence for Americans to pay their respects to the baroness.


    Maria Isabel Huaman Yaringano in Peru tells BBC Mundo: "She broke with the older structures of power in the UK and brought the country to a [state] of modernity... Rest in peace, Margaret."


    President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Vivian Wineman, said the ex-UK PM was always "extremely supportive and admiring" of the ethos of the UK Jewish community.

    The relationship began when her family took in a young Austrian Jewish refugee from Nazism for two years, he said. "The Jewish community will miss her greatly," he adds.

    File photo dated 03/03/1979 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher speaking at the Conservative Local Government Conference at Caxton Hall, London

    The key dates in the life of Margaret Thatcher:

    • 13 October 1925 - Born Margaret Hilda Roberts in Grantham, Lincolnshire

    • 1951 - Married businessman Denis Thatcher

    • 1959 - Becomes MP for Finchley

    • 1970 - Made minister for education

    • 1975 - Elected Conservative leader

    • 1979 - Becomes UK's first female prime minister

    • 1982 - Falklands War

    • 1983 - Elected prime minister for second time

    • 1984 - Survives Grand Hotel bombing

    • 1984-5 - Takes on unions in Miners' Strike

    • 1987 - Wins third term in Downing Street

    • 1990 - Resigns as prime minister

    • 1992 - Stands down as MP and accepts peerage

    • 2002 - Retires from public speaking

    • 8 April 2013 - Dies after suffering a stroke


    Vlad in Moscow writes on a BBC Russian forum: "I remember one phrase she said: 'I lived in socialism when we had only one butcher and he would always give us less meat than we paid for and we couldn't do anything about. I don't want to live in socialism anymore.'"

    House of Lords office

    tweets : Baroness Thatcher, Conservative peer and former prime minister, dies. Read about her parliamentary career


    Former US president George Bush has released a statement. "She was an inspirational leader who stood on principle and guided her nation with confidence and clarity," he says. "Prime Minister Thatcher is a great example of strength and character, and a great ally who strengthened the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Laura and I join the people of Great Britain in remembering the life and leadership of this strong woman and friend."

    Paul Waugh, editor of

    tweets: Suspect Blair empathises with Mrs T partly cos they both won 3 general elections, never lost one + yet forced out by their own party critics


    Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny says: "Mrs Thatcher was a formidable political leader who had a significant impact on British, European and world politics. During her 11 years as prime minister, she defined an era in British public life.

    "While her period of office came at a challenging time for British-Irish relations, when the violent conflict in Northern Ireland was at its peak, Mrs Thatcher signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement which laid the foundation for improved North-South co-operation and ultimately the Good Friday Agreement. I extend my deepest sympathies to her family and Prime Minister David Cameron."


    A reminder that the main BBC News Website story can be found here - it is being updated minute-by-minute with all the latest reaction, analysis and developments.


    Sian Lloyd, the BBC's Midlands correspondent, in Grantham, says a bunch of tulips has been left outside the former PM's childhood home. It reads : "Thank you Baroness Thatcher for putting the great back in Britain gone but not forgotten."

    Journalist James Delingpole

    writing in the Telegraph politics blog, says: "In 1940 we had Winston Churchill. In 1979 we had Margaret Thatcher. But I'm not sure even the most generous apologists for our current Prime Minister would bracket David Cameron in quite the same category."


    More reaction from Brazil, where Veja magazine says that, during her time as PM, she "shrank the role of government and recovered the country's prosperity with a recipe admired all over the world...

    Twenty years after the end of her government, 'Thatcherism' remains as present in Britain as the monarchy, fish and chips and hot beer in pubs - more than a political conviction, it's a national institution", reports BBC Brasil.


    Foreign Secretary William Hague says: "It is a very sad day for all those who knew her and followed her, she was one of the finest leaders in the modern history of our country."


    Councillor David Williams, leader of the Green Party councillors in Oxfordshire, says: "Worshipping personal wealth and neglecting the common good became acceptable political creeds under her leadership and led directly to corporate greed and Westminster corruption.

    "She privatised public utilities such as gas, electricity, telephones, railways, allowing private companies to use their monopoly position to squeeze the people and line their own pockets. She orchestrated a fight with the miners to punish them, starved the NHS of precious resources and half-destroyed local government."

    Former British prime minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher in front of a bronze statue of herself, inside the Palace of Westminster, in 2007

    Lady Thatcher was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century - and the first woman to hold that office. During her 11 years as prime minister, even her critics admitted that she changed the face of British life. The many tributes have spoken of her political achievements and personal strength.

    Her government privatised several state-owned industries and took an uncompromising position during the 1984 miners' strike. She was also in power when Britain went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982.


    US President Barack Obama says "the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend".

    Baroness Thatcher, he says, "shows our daughters" there is no glass ceiling that cannot be shattered, adding: "As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best".


    President Obama continues: "As an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom's promise.

    "Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history - we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. "


    Lady Thatcher's death has made headlines all over the world. The Daily Mail has this round-up.


    NT from Hong Kong writes on a BBC Chinese forum: "Mrs Thatcher was a great politician and reformer. During the period that I studied in the UK, from 1979 to 1984, she led the UK from a declining power to a prosperous country.

    "And I can still remember her fights with the trade unions. Her name will be carved in history forever."

    Entrepreneur Lord Sugar

    tweets: Margaret Thatcher died today. A great lady she changed the face of British politics, created opportunity for anyone to succeed in the UK.RIP

    File photo dated 12/10/77 of Conservative party leader Margaret Thatcher with 16-year-old Rother Valley schoolboy William Hague after he received a standing ovation from delegates at the Tory party conference in Blackpool

    Foreign Secretary William Hague, who was singled out as a potential Conservative Party leader by the late former prime minister, says "it was like being backed not just by a former party leader but by a great historical figure". He says she gave honest advice and real encouragement in difficult times.

    Mr Hague is pictured here as a 16-year-old schoolboy after receiving a standing ovation from delegates following his first political speech at the Tory party conference in Blackpool in 1977.


    Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles, says the late baroness continues to divide opinion among people in the town, describing her as "a bit like Marmite". "You either love her or hate her, but I think we are just beginning to enter a time when people are beginning to recognise it was a remarkable achievement, not just because she was a woman," he says.


    Lady Thatcher's life story is told with key quotes, photos and tweets in this obituary from the Wall Street Journal.


    Lady Thatcher was brought up as a member of the Methodist Church, which has described her as a "hugely significant, complex and yet divisive figure".

    Revd Dr Mark Wakelin, president of the Methodist Conference, says: "For many people she was a courageous and committed leader, and one of the best known British politicians around the world - her roots in a personally responsible Methodist tradition were greatly admired by many."


    More divided views on BBC Africa's Facebook page, with Hendrix Niangasa Bassey in Nigeria saying: "She promoted the agenda of many world dictators"; while Kipkoech Kennedy Kittony in Kenya writes: "Margaret was an icon and great leader and a servant of the people. She made it her priority to preach world peace and advance policies that brought about desired change."

    March 10, 1983 file photo of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher examining a minefield during her visit to the Falkland Islands when the Royal Engineers took her on a tour of the Rookery Bay beach

    The legislative assembly of the Falkland Islands says Baroness Thatcher's "friendship and support" to the territory would be "sorely missed". Assembly member Mike Summers said: "She will be forever remembered in the Islands for her decisiveness in sending a task force to liberate our home following the Argentine invasion in 1982."


    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "As a long-serving prime minister, she shaped modern Britain as few have before or since. She was one of the greatest leaders in world politics of her time. The freedom of the individual was at the centre of her beliefs so she recognised very early the power of the movements for freedom in Eastern Europe. And she supported them. I will never forget her contribution in overcoming Europe's partition and the end of the Cold War.

    "Margaret Thatcher was not a feminist but by proving herself as a woman in the highest democratic post when this was far from usual, she gave an example to many. My thoughts and sympathy are with her children."


    Former Tory Cabinet minister David Mellor tells Sky News the former PM will "go down in history as a great leader". But he adds that he fell out with her over the Poll Tax and that had spelled "the end of a beautiful friendship". He went on to say "I think history will judge her kindly", adding that she had shaped "the Britain we have today".

    Charles Kennedy Lib Dem MP and former leader

    tweets: My sincere sympathy goes out to the Thatcher family. We remember today a landmark political figure, both at home and abroad


    Chancellor George Osborne tweets: Sad news. Margaret Thatcher's belief in freedom & optimism about the future overcame all. Her determination is our generation's inspiration.

    Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    The poll tax and de-industrialisation made Margaret Thatcher unpopular in Scotland. She was also proudly English at a time when Scotland was reasserting its national identity.


    Veteran Burmese journalist Po Thaut Kya tells BBC Burmese: "We were very interested when she became the British PM and we always followed her story very well. At the time, she was inspirational to Burmese people. She is a role model for women leaders and her death is a great loss to the world. We are covering the story and it will be our front page cover story tomorrow."


    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, says he heard the news with sadness and his prayers are with her family and friends. He adds: "It is right that today we give thanks for a life devoted to public service, acknowledging also the faith that inspired and sustained her."


    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expresses his deepest condolences to her family members and the UK government. He says she was a "great model" as the first female prime minister, "who not only demonstrated her leadership but has given such great hope for many women for equality, gender equality in Parliament".

    He adds: "I hope that her leadership will inspire many people around the world for peace and security and human rights."


    Writer and comedian Alexei Sayle told the BBC: "She made a conscious decision to run down manufacturing and concentrate on two areas which were arms manufacture and financial services. I wonder in some ways if having financial services and arms manufacturing at the core of your country kind of corrupts you morally. This idea that she was a great reformer - in a sense she was a great destroyer."


    Northern Ireland political veteran Ian Paisley says: "She was great - great as a woman, great as an MP, great as the first woman PM, great as a winner of the war."

    Labour MP Paul Flynn

    tweets: "Only two UK PMs of the 20th century who were not slaves to popular perception, prejudice and pressure - Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher."


    In an address to the party, she played on the title of Christopher Fry's popular play "The Lady's Not for Burning" in insisting that she would press forward with her policies. "Turn if you like," she told the faltering assembly. "The lady's not for turning," writes the New York Times newspaper, in its obituary.


    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev writes on his Facebook page that Lady Thatcher was "an outstanding politician who did a lot for her country". He says: "One can have different opinions about her political views, but it is impossible not to respect her for her character and her political will."

    Matthew d'Ancona, Sunday Telegraph columnist

    tweets: Margaret Thatcher transformed not one party, but two. She is still the magnetic North of British politics.


    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says Lady Thatcher was one of the leading figures in politics in Europe in the 20th Century.

    "She governed in the UK during a key moment in our history. I think her commitment to democracy, to freedom and the rule of law together with her reformist vision, built up an extremely valuable legacy for current European leaders. Similar to the situation of the 1980s, the time during which Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, we are also facing huge challenges which require us to have political ambition and courage."


    Chilean political analyst Carlos Huneeus tweets: "You may disagree with Mrs Thatcher, that's my case, but I cannot ignore her leadership, changing Britain, followed later by Blair."

    Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror associate editor

    tweets: Condolences to two children who have lost a mother but I shed no crocodile tears for Thatcherism


    Lambeth Palace, the central office of the Church of England, say no decision has been made yet about who will conduct the funeral service.


    French President Francois Hollande has hailed a "great figure who left a profound mark on the history of her country."

    He says: "Throughout her public life, with conservative beliefs she fully assumed, she was concerned with the United Kingdom's influence and the defence of its interests."

    Lindsey Neale, Devon

    emails: Please don't let the vitriol and jokes begin. Did she get everything right? Probably not, but it is easy to make judgements with the benefit of hindsight. She took risks, she followed her dream and lived her beliefs.


    Lord Lamont, who served as a Treasury minister under Baroness Thatcher, before becoming chancellor under John Major, tells the Press Association: "The name Margaret Thatcher will always be synonymous with the word 'courage'. She had more courage than anyone I have ever known. The word impossible barely existed for her. We shall not see her like again."

    Chris, Manchester

    emails: That woman laid the foundations for all the problems of the last few years. The privatisations, the selling off of housing stock, creating the "greed is good" society, are all at her door.


    There will be a Baroness Thatcher obituary programme at 20:30 GMT on BBC One, and an extended edition of Newsnight 22:30 GMT on BBC Two.


    Margaret Thatcher is the most significant British political figure of the past 50 years, writes James Forsyth, political editor of the Spectator.. In her time in office, she transformed the British economy, promoted the vigorous virtues and offered strength and support to the dissidents of Eastern Europe and. On top of all this, she was - of course - Britain's first female prime minister.

    Edwina Currie, former Conservative minister

    tweets: I'm wearing black today. Because I bet she is up there, checking on us all. A great PM passes #margaretthatcher


    Tony Benn, former Labour cabinet minister, tells BBC 5 live she was an impressive politician but he couldn't think of one policy she got right.

    "She always said what she meant and meant what she said and did what she said she'd do, and that built an authenticity to her which attracted a lot of people.

    "And she used the power she had to make war on the miners and the trade union movement, the poll tax, the Liverpool council and others. It was a very divisive period but that was what she believed. "

    Flag on Whitehall

    The union jack is flying at half-mast on Whitehall in central London.

    Floral tributes outside the home of Margaret Thatcher

    Baroness Thatcher's supporters continue to arrive outside her London home. Sam Cross, 27, a trainee priest from London who also left flowers, says: "I just think she's one of the most impressive prime ministers this country's had." Ned Donovan, a 19-year-old student from the area, says he sometimes saw Baroness Thatcher in the street. "I never had the pleasure of meeting her but I had great respect for her as a politician," he says.

    BBC News viewer

    texts: I know there will be people that mourn and people that cheer her demise. As a grandson of a coal miner, I shall do neither. Quiet apathy is all that I feel at this news.

    Angela Coope-Fell

    writes on Facebook: Love her or hate her she was a huge part of our British history and I for one am proud to say she was one of us, policies aside she was one hell of a strong woman! Rip


    The First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson, pays tribute to her legacy and says "you're bound to create enemies and division along the way. She had more than her share in that regard. But, I think history will look kindly on the transformative changes in the UK that she has been responsible for".


    Irish President Michael D Higgins says the ex-PM's policies on Northern Ireland "gave rise to considerable debate at the time".

    "However, her key role in signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement will be recalled as a valuable early contribution to the search for peace and political stability," he says.

    Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher

    Actress Meryl Streep, who won an Oscar in 2012 for playing Lady Thatcher in The Iron Lady, has paid tribute, describing her as a "figure of awe for her personal strength and grit".

    She says: "I was honoured to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side. I wish to convey my respectful condolences to her family and many friends."


    South Africa's governing African National Congress says her death signals "the end of a generation of leaders that ruled during a very difficult period characterised by the dynamics of the cold war".

    In a statement, it says: "The ANC was on the receiving end of her policy, in terms of refusing to recognize the ANC as the representatives of South Africans and her failure to isolate apartheid after it had been described as a crime against humanity. "

    Political blogger Iain Dale

    writes about how Thatcher inspired him: "Like others I'm devastated by her death. I spoke to Keith Simpson MP earlier. He described her death as the end of an era. He was right. What memories! What a woman! What a Prime Minister!"

    Conservative MP Alun Cairns

    tweets: I asked my 9 year old son, Henri whether he knew who Margaret #Thatcher was and he said 'Yes - a strict Prime Minister'. Very appropriate

    London Evening Standard front page

    The front page of London's Evening Standard - a layout likely to repeated in many newspapers on Tuesday.


    Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has paid tribute to "an extraordinary politician who was a staunch defender of freedom, a powerful advocate of Nato and the transatlantic bond".

    He says: "She strongly supported Nato values and principles, believed in a strong defence and played a leading role in ending the Cold War. Throughout her tenure as British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher stood on principle and showed great courage, vision and leadership."


    Portrait artist Richard Stone, who painted the former prime minister six times, says: "Her kindness is my abiding memory of her, and her thoughtfulness. She was lovely and she also was the perfect sitter, that's what comes out."


    Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe says: "It is a human response to be sad when somebody dies, but many working-class people will be celebrating her death because of the absolutely destructive and long-lasting effect she had on the lives of millions of working class and poor people."

    1633: Cathryn Parkes in Bahrain

    emails: The news of her passing has even spread through to the Middle East where I am currently based. Many of my friends and family have less than complimentary opinions of her. However, as a woman in a man's world, she's an incredible role model to women striving to achieve in business today.


    "The real tragedy is that while she may be dead herself her ideas are still alive and well in the form of the ConDem coalition and New Labour," says Dave Nellist, Labour MP for Coventry South West between 1983 and 1992 and now a Socialist Party spokesman.

    1633: L Todde-Wilson, Halifax, England

    emails: Sad for her family but I will not feel her absence at all. This is the woman who encouraged selfishness and greed - and most people embraced these ugly vices. We're still paying the price now.

    1634: John McCain US senator

    tweets: RIP Margaret Thatcher, one of the great leaders of the 20th century


    Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai pays tribute to "one of the greatest leaders the world knew." He says she will be remembered as a "strong leader who had truly served her country, particularly in strengthening the UK's economy".

    Falklands Islands flag flies at half mast on 8 April 2013

    The Falkland Islands flag is also flying at half-mast in front of the visitors' centre in Stanley.


    "There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families," Baroness Thatcher once said. You can find more of her most famous words in our round-up charting her career in quotes.


    Downing Street says the Thatcher family has asked well-wishers to donate to the Royal Hospital Chelsea instead of leaving flowers.


    The bouffant hair, pearls and twin-sets may have remained relatively constant but the performances of Lady Thatcher on film and TV through the years have ranged from the comedic to the dramatic. Here is a pick of some of them.


    Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, says "Britain was privileged to have a prime minister who understood the importance of entrepreneurs, aspiration and business".

    1650: Broadcaster Piers Morgan

    tweets: Disagreed with Thatcher over many things (incl poll tax, miners, Hillsborough) but admired courage/leadership re Falklands, Cold War etc.

    Flag over Buckingham Palace

    The union jack is also flying at half-mast over Buckingham Palace. The Queen spoke of her sadness at the death of Lady Thatcher.

    Flowers outside Baroness Thatcher's birth place in Grantham

    A solitary bouquet has been placed outside Baroness Thatcher's birthplace in Grantham, Lincolnshire. She was raised in the flat above her father's grocery shop on North Parade, which is now a chiropractic clinic. Books of condolence will be opened in the town for people to sign on Tuesday.


    Germany's ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl praised the former PM for her "love of freedom, her incomparable openness, honesty and straightforwardness".

    1700: Breaking News

    The BBC confirms that Lady Thatcher died at the Ritz Hotel in central London, where she had been staying since December.


    President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, who in 2005 became the first female president of an African country, says Baroness Thatcher inspired women to enter politics.

    "I admired her strength and tenacity. I admired her ability to make decisions, even when they were unpopular. And that's why she was called the Iron Lady, and I dare say that I'm also called the Iron Lady."

    1702: Tony Gallagher Daily Telegraph editor

    tweets: We have closed comments on every #Thatcher story today - even our address to email tributes is filled with abuse


    John Sergeant, the BBC's former chief political correspondent, who famously attempted to interview Margaret Thatcher during the 1990 Tory leadership contest, says she was easily his favourite PM.

    "You were never quite sure what she would do or say, but whatever the outcome she never failed to make headlines. She made my career."


    Louise Mensch, ex-Conservative MP for Corby, now an author living in New York, tweets: Just realised I'm not listening to Fox, I'm listening to CNN. Doesn't matter, it's wall-to-wall #Thatcher on all channels in America. #proud


    David Hopper, regional secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers in north-east England, describes her policies when PM as "evil", adding: "It isn't just about the coal mines. She set out to destroy unions. She decimated the industry, she destroyed our communities."

    1709: Benedict Brogan

    writes in the Telegraph politics blog: "The death of Lady Thatcher will have immediate political consequences for David Cameron and the Conservatives. The tributes to her memory and the recollections of her achievements will remind the party not just of what it has lost, but of what it lacks."


    Former US president Bill Clinton releases a statement saying he is "saddened" by the loss of an "iconic stateswoman, and a fearless leader".

    "Lady Thatcher understood that the special relationship which has long united our two nations is an indispensable foundation for peace and prosperity. Our strong partnership today is part of her legacy".


    Our at-a-glance guide charts the career and personal life of Britain's first, and only, female prime minister.

    Mrs Thatcher leaving Downing Street for the last time

    Leaving Downing Street, after she was ousted as leader by her own party in 1990, was a blow for Baroness Thatcher. Following her defeat, she returned to Number 10 prior to a tearful departure in front of the world's press. Our gallery of images looks back at the former PM's life.

    1715: Kay Cook in Cambridge

    writes: A true statesman who no-one will ever come near to matching. She did more for Britain than any other post-war PM. May she now rest in peace.

    1716: Chris Farrands in Nottingham

    writes: Never forget the immense harm that Margaret Thatcher did to working people even as she sold off assets that belonged to all the people in order to benefit a few people. Never forget her assaults on the dignity of working people - especially but not only in the North.

    1717: Rob Watson BBC UK political correspondent

    Globally she's being remembered as America's staunch Cold War ally and for her scepticism towards the European Union.

    Above all the reaction to Mrs Thatcher's death is a reminder that she was a figure that always provoked passion, unlike the indifference that greets many modern politicians.


    Former cabinet minister Lord Mandelson, one of the principle architects of New Labour, told Sky News: "I'm not sure whether I saw her as an inspiration. I certainly saw her as a force to be reckoned with, I mean a political and electoral force that was almost overwhelming.

    "I think also, on reflection, to be honest, I would say that she introduced, she ushered in, a timely and necessary overhaul of the UK economy in many ways.

    "The problem I have with that reflection, though, is that I think in other ways she was too indifferent to the social consequences of the economic changes she was undertaking."

    1721: Grant Shapps, chairman of Conservative Party

    tweets: I speak for the whole Conservative Family when I say that Lady Thatcher will be forever remembered & admired in our party & around the world


    BBC Woman's Hour is to dedicate Wednesday's programme to look at the life and legacy of Baroness Thatcher. The programme starts at 10:00 GMT.


    Nancy Reagan, wife of former US President Ronald, says: "Ronnie and Margaret were political soul mates, committed to freedom and resolved to end Communism. As prime minister, Margaret had the clear vision and strong determination to stand up for her beliefs at a time when so many were afraid to "rock the boat."


    The Royal Hospital Chelsea tweets: All at the Royal Hospital were very sad to hear of the passing of Baroness Thatcher. She was a strong supporter of the Chelsea Pensioners.


    Lord Carrington, a former Conservative foreign Secretary, says: "Nobody who worked with her could fail to recognise her commitment and determination; and above all, those who knew her knew she was kind and a good friend".

    1727: Richard Castle in New York, USA

    Emails: Claims that Margret Thatcher saved "Britain" are utterly bewildering. She purposefully atomised working class communities in Wales, the North and Scotland. The only people she saved were the Home Counties and the city.


    An official statement issued by Nigeria's government says the country's president, Goodluck Jonathan, says he believes she will "formally take her place in history as one the greatest world leaders of our time".

    1731: Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor

    writes on Facebook: While the Iron Lady is sadly gone, her iron will, her unfailing trust in what is right and just, and her lessons to all of us will live on forever. She was a trailblazer like no other. We lost an icon, but her legacy, as solid as iron, will live on in perpetuity.

    1732: Sunny Hundal, Liberal Conspiracy editor

    tweets: I think Thatcher's biggest legacy (besides impact on lives) was view that wealth will 'trickle down'. Only now Labour realising the mirage.


    Home Secretary Theresa May says: "As the first woman to reach that office, she remains an inspiration to millions of women of all political persuasions. Her considerable legacy continues to shape British politics to this day."


    Neal Mann, social media editor of the Wall Street Journal, writes about how Twitter-users responded to Baroness Thatcher's death.

    Hadyn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher and Helen Mirren as The Queen in The Audience

    Producers of the West End play The Audience, which features a lengthy scene portraying Lady Thatcher, are going ahead with the show as planned. In the production Haydn Gwynne plays the former prime minister and is seen in conversation with the Queen, played by Dame Helen Mirren.

    The play is based around a series of private audiences between serving PMs and the monarch at a number of key moments during her reign. The author of the production, Peter Morgan, is to give a short speech before the start as "a mark of respect".

    1736: Breaking News

    Parliament is expected to be recalled later this week for MPs to pay tribute to Baroness Thatcher.


    Conservative MP Liam Fox says the former PM "changed the terms of debate in our politics", arguing that she represented a "meritocratic strand of conservativism".

    "She might have taken some pleasure in the victories of New Labour, recognising that she had done what she had always sought to do, which was to move the political centre ground closer to the Conservative party."


    US Senator John McCain says: "The partnership between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher was unique even in light of the fact that American and British leaders have always had close relationships, I think theirs was unique and what they were able to accomplish, as has been said many times in the past, they won the cold war without firing a shot and I think that has earned both of them a very special place in the history of the world."

    1741: John Maskell-Bott in Hill Cove, Falkland Islands

    emails: The people in these islands will always be grateful to Margaret Thatcher. Without her inspired leadership we would not be here - it's that simple. She was the right woman in the right place at the right time. God bless.


    David Miliband, Labour MP for South Shields, who recently announced he was to step down, tweeted how the former UK PM "proved that ideas and politics matter. She inspired me to join the Labour Party and many to join the Conservative Party. I wish her family the best."


    FW de Klerk, South Africa's last apartheid-era president, says he was "honoured to have her as a friend". She was "a very, very competent, efficient political leader".

    Ronald Regan and Lady Thatcher

    Nancy Reagan, the wife of former US president Ronald, described her husband and Lady Thatcher as "political soulmates".

    1747: Jennifer Jansen in Woerden, The Netherlands

    emails: Although I sympathise with her family, I cannot feel sorry that Mrs Thatcher is dead. As a Labour councillor 1986-90 faced with the effects of the poll tax on the poorer people in society, I cannot forgive her for what she started.


    Australian prime minister Julia Gillard has praised Baroness Thatcher, saying: "Her strength of conviction was recognised by her closest supporters and her strongest opponents."


    The death is dominating news websites across the world. The New York Times used a 1985 photograph of Baroness Thatcher standing next to former US president Ronald Reagan and other world leaders, with the headline: "Margaret Thatcher, Who Remade Britain, Dies at 87."

    The Washington Post also chose a photograph of her with President Reagan, its website showing the pair smiling while at Camp David in 1984. Its headline was "Britain's 'Iron Lady' dies", and in a leader, the newspaper said that "outside Britain, she will be remembered primarily as a world figure".


    Ghanaian journalist Elizabeth Ohene, ex-deputy editor of the BBC's Focus on Africa programme, remembers losing her umbrella at Downing Street after a 1988 interview with Baroness Thatcher in which she challenged the then PM about her views on South Africa and apartheid.

    "I was leaving and I then realised that I couldn't find my umbrella - you know the British weather. I'm looking for my umbrella and then, suddenly, the prime minister was on all fours looking under the sofa to see if she could find my umbrella, which she did retrieve.

    "It showed a part of her that I didn't think was there… she could have asked any of her minders to find my umbrella but she found it for me herself. That was the soft touch, I thought, of the Iron Lady."


    From grocer's daughter to No 10 - the Sun newspaper has put together a picture gallery of Lady Thatcher's life.


    You can read a round-up of tributes from Baroness Thatcher's home town here. Even in Grantham, opinion remains divided with some calling for a statue to her life, others opposing any recognition of her association, writes BBC Lincolnshire political reporter Sharon Edwards.

    1754: Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Lord Howe: One was in a way surprised. She seemed to have a degree of immortality about her.


    There were more than a million mentions of Thatcher on Twitter within four hours of the news breaking. The topic has been trending in the UK and America since then.


    The Press Association reports that there were more than a million mentions of Thatcher on Twitter within four hours of the news breaking. The topic has been trending in the UK and America since then.

    1756: Martin Holman in Devon

    emails: I was at the Brighton conference the year the bomb went off. I can remember being one of the first in the conference hall. There were not many delegates there because of the tight security. Despite this - and all that had gone on over the last few hours - Margaret insisted that the conference started on time, and it did.


    China's leading party paper, the People's Daily, says: "Faced with the weak economy, she launched a series of broad reforms from which the British are still benefiting today... Mrs Thatcher, the most distinguished female politician of the 20th century, has left the world with glory and controversy. An era has ended."

    1803: Mark S in Edinburgh

    texts: I am a child of Thatcher. She made us believe we are in charge of our own destiny. 'Take responsibility and act' is a great legacy and one which is sadly fading. We could do with another Thatcher today.


    Prime Minister David Cameron is to give a statement from Downing Street on Lady Thatcher's death shortly, the No 10 press office feed tweets.

    Camera crews at Downing Street

    Members of the media from around the world have descended on Downing Street.


    Conservative Party sources tell the Press Association the party has suspended campaigning ahead of the local elections until further notice.

    1808: Raymond Buchanan BBC Scotland political correspondent

    Love her or loathe her, Margaret Thatcher changed Scotland forever - after coming to power determined to change a Britain she thought was in terminal decline.

    1810: Ray Heffer in Redhill

    writes: Today we have lost the greatest leader this country ever had, a lady who would not take no for an answer. I didn't agree with privatising gas, electricity, railways, etc - but she rescued our country from free fall and we could do with her now.

    1811: Breaking News

    Prime Minister David Cameron says: "Today we lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton."

    1812: Kath Gallagher in Glasgow

    writes: I will never forget the hypocrisy of Margaret Thatcher. As she stood on the steps of Downing Street and vowed to bring hope and harmony but instead ushered in selfishness, greed, discord, poverty and despair.

    David Cameron

    In a statement issued outside 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister David Cameron says Baroness Thatcher did not just lead the country, she saved it.

    "She will be remembered for the great political battle that she fought. Margaret Thatcher took a country that was on its knees and made the country stand tall again."


    Mr Cameron adds: "Margaret Thatcher loved this country and 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."

    Book of condolence at Grantham museum

    A book of condolence has been set up at Grantham Museum in Baroness Thatcher's home town and will be available to sign from Tuesday.


    There really was no modern British prime minister who presided over a greater transformation of the nation's economy than Baroness Margaret Thatcher. When she left office, nearly every aspect of British economic life had changed fundamentally, writes BBC economics editor, Stephanie Flanders.


    How did Margaret Thatcher change your finances? asks BBC Business.

    1824: Sarah in Birmingham

    texts: I was born the year Thatcher came to power. She never campaigned for women's rights or made anything of the fact that she was a woman PM. I therefore grew up thinking it normal for women to achieve whatever they wanted and to be treated as equals. She was an inspiration and a great role model for a young girl in the '80s.


    One aspect of the ex-prime minister's legacy which isn't often referred to involves the environment. Baroness Thatcher arguably did more than any major UK politician at the time to legitimise the environment as a concern at the highest level, says the BBC's Roger Harrabin.

    Funeral route for Margaret Thatcher The planned route of Baroness Thatcher's funeral
    • Baroness Thatcher is to have a ceremonial funeral - a step short of a state funeral - with military honours to be held at St Paul's Cathedral in London
    • The funeral parade will begin at Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at the Palace of Westminster
    • A hearse will take the body to the RAF Chapel at the church of St Clement Danes on the Strand
    • Baroness Thatcher's coffin will be transferred to a gun carriage and drawn by the Kings Troop Royal Artillery to St Paul's Cathedral
    • The route is to be lined by all three armed forces
    1829: Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt

    tweets: Mrs Thatcher leaves an indelible impression on the #UK. We should not forget that her part in ending Cold War made the world a safer place.


    The "Iron Lady" was an influential figure on the international stage. She built a close relationship with Ronald Reagan, helping the US president during the Cold War era and took Britain to war in 1982 over Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands. Here BBC Monitoring reports on how a selection of how the world media view her legacy.


    It has been announced that the first volume of Margaret Thatcher's authorised biography will be published after her funeral. The book, written by ex-Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore and called Not For Turning, was commissioned in 1997 on the understanding it would not be published during her lifetime.


    Did Baroness Thatcher play a role in helping to save Nelson Mandela's life after his trial in the 1960s? The BBC's Africa correspondent Andrew Harding investigates a claim made by one of the former South African president's closest friends that she may have been involved in behind-the-scenes diplomatic pressure on South Africa's apartheid government.


    The ex-PM's death, and her legacy, has been pored over across the world. Al-Jazeera examines her path to becoming a "conservative icon". And, addressing the highly divisive nature of reactions to Baroness Thatcher, CNN attempts to explain why she was both an "icon and outcast".


    Russian President Vladimir Putin says Baroness Thatcher was "one of the brightest political figures of the modern era". Referring to her contribution to British-Soviet relations, he says: "We will always be grateful to her and remember her work with gratitude."

    1838: Andy Corbett in Chessington

    tweets: Mrs Thatcher was PM between my 14th and 25th years. Looking at the news footage I think I can say I lived through some *real* History.


    US magazine The Atlantic says "most Americans will view her through the lens of her ties to Ronald Reagan". It says both were "champions of the free market and small government" and both pushed their parties "to the right".

    It concludes that her achievements were perhaps "more impressive" than Reagan's, adding that she faced a more dire challenge - "a dying Britain" - which she addressed "without Reagan's aw-shucks charm".

    Meanwhile, like many news outlets, the Sydney Morning Herald, in Australia, remembers her life in pictures.


    James Baker, former US Secretary of State, says Lady Thatcher was "a joy to work with". "She was a very strong and determined force," he says, adding "there were very few real differences".

    Mr Baker served as chief of staff in President Ronald Reagan's first administration and in the final year of the administration of President George Bush.


    West End musical Billy Elliot, which is set during the miners' strike, is to take place as planned this evening. A spokeswoman for the production says: "The performance will go ahead as scheduled."


    BBC chief political correspondent's Norman Smith, in Downing Street, says the two words that have struck him during the day are "divisive and defining".

    "She was a politician who in many ways stood out because she transformed society," he says.

    1850: Jim Murphy, shadow defence secretary

    tweets: In today's era of cynicism one of the important things Baroness Thatcher reminds us all of is the enormous power of politics.

    The Ritz

    Baroness Thatcher died while staying at the Ritz Hotel, in central London. She had been staying there since being discharged from hospital at the end of last year.


    Downing Street says in a statement that there will be a condolence page on which people will be able to write private messages for the Thatcher family.


    More details on the 90-minute programme marking Baroness Thatcher's life to be shown on BBC One at 20:30 BST. Interviews with family, friends and former colleagues, as well as political opponents, will be shown.

    Meanwhile, the extended Newsnight programme begins on BBC Two at 22:30 BST.


    John Malecela, ex-prime minister of Tanzania - who was also the country's high commissioner to London during Baroness Thatcher's time in power - says: "I cannot claim to speak on behalf of other African leaders, but as an African we will surely remember Margaret Thatcher as a very shrewd and daring woman.

    "She was a very principled leader. Although she liked adopting tough stances, which some of us did not agree with, we all agreed that she was a very principled leader and we respected her for that."

    The BBC's Scotland correspondent James Cook says about 250 people gathered in Glasgow's George Square following Lady Thatcher's death

    The BBC's Scotland correspondent James Cook says about 250 people gathered in Glasgow's George Square following news of Lady Thatcher's death.

    1906: Steve Clements in Windsor

    emails: As a teenager in the 70s, I vividly remember the damage wrought upon the country by out-of-control trades unions. I remember days of real hardship for my own family as a result of the three-day week and a succession of insanely high wage demands. Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative governments of the 80s broke the cycle.

    1907: Martijn Hover in Helmond, Netherlands

    emails: I am afraid that the present global economic and financial chaos is the direct result of the insane policies implemented by Mrs Thatcher and her friend Ronald Reagan. The worldwide consequences of her folly are her true legacy.


    Lord Dobbs, a former adviser to Baroness Thatcher, described her as Britain's "finest 20th Century peacetime prime minister".

    He told the Press Association: "I remember her at the Brighton bombing and the extraordinary resilience in the hours after the attempt to kill her when several of her friends had been killed.

    "I will always remember her being literally dragged out of Downing Street - a Shakespearean tragedy almost leaving the fingernails in the carpet of Downing Street - and the tears we all saw."


    The House of Lords will meet at 14:30 GMT on Wednesday - the same day as the Commons - when tributes will be paid to Baroness Thatcher.

    Morning Star front page for 9 April 2013

    The socialist Morning Star newspaper will describe Baroness Thatcher as the "most hated British prime minister of the 20th century" in its lead story on Tuesday. A picture of the paper's front page carrying the headline "The woman who tore Britain apart", has already been published on its website.


    Despite being a highly divisive figure in the UK, the former prime minister's popularity on the other side of the Atlantic has endured for decades. The BBC's Tom Geoghegan, in Washington DC, explains why the US loved her.

    Nile Gardiner, of the US-based Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, tells our correspondent: "She was the conviction politician, the figure who stuck to her principles and belief. Inevitably she's mentioned in the same breath as Churchill."


    Baroness Gillian Shephard, ex-Tory cabinet minister, described news of the former PM's death as a "great shock". "However, she has left a great legacy. One of her greatest legacies was that she proved that a woman could be prime minister of this country... Since then anything has become possible for women," she tells the BBC.

    Windrush Square, Brixton

    The BBC's Sarah Bell sends this picture from Brixton's Windrush Square in London, where people have gathered following the news of Lady Thatcher's death. There is some music and dancing, she says.


    Full details of the plans for Lady Thatcher's funeral can now be found on the Downing Street website. The date of the funeral is expected to be released in the coming days.


    Ex-Smiths singer Morrissey, a long-time critic of the former PM who berated her in songs such as Margaret On The Guillotine, says she was "barbaric" and "without an atom of humanity", adding that "every move she made was charged by negativity".


    BBC politics has looked at the Thatcher years in statistics. This graph shows how the rate in the rise of unemployment picked up speed after the Conservatives took power in 1979, rapidly increasing to over three million in 1982. An economic boom later in the decade helped to bring unemployment down, but it was a slow process.


    "Only a handful of peace-time politicians can claim to have changed the world. Margaret Thatcher, who died this morning, was one," argues The Economist, in its look at the former prime minister's life.

    "Her enthusiasm for privatisation launched a global revolution and her willingness to stand up to tyranny helped to bring an end to the Soviet Union. Winston Churchill won a war, but he never created an "ism", it says.

    1945: Tibor in Prague, Czech Republic

    emails: She was a great inspiration to me when I was living in Communist-bloc Czechoslovakia. Her outspoken attitude towards the eastern-bloc regimes, and her resolve in the Falklands war, was much admired by us youngsters.

    1946: Eileen de Bruin in Leeds

    emails: She was made PM in the year of my son's birth, a year I will never forget because I grieved for the fate of the UK. And rightly so; the devastatingly damaging politics of selling off the country's own assets - and not maintaining the infrastructure - is being paid for today.


    Lord Powell, a key foreign affairs adviser to Baroness Thatcher, said he spent time with her last night. He told Channel 4 News: "I spent an hour or so with her and I am very pleased that I did." He said he regarded the meeting as private and would not discuss it further.


    A bit more detail now on the planned recall of the House of Commons and House of Lords on Wednesday. The government will put down a motion which is expected to pay tribute to Lady Thatcher, according to the Speaker's Office.

    The prime minister is then expected to give a statement to the Commons, followed by the Leader of the Opposition. There will then be time for backbench MPs to make their own tributes to the late baroness.


    The mention of Baroness Thatcher's name in parts of northern England is often likely to prompt a discussion about the Miners' Strike of 1984-5.

    That bitter stand-off between the then prime minister and Arthur Scargill, who led the National Union of Mineworkers, has come to be seen as one of the defining events of the era.

    "Unfortunately for the vindictive acts she did to myself, my comrades and my family and for the mining community, I'll not be shedding a tear at her demise," says Chris Kitchen, Yorkshire-based NUM general secretary.

    A group of former British paratroopers who fought in the Falklands War, salute as they leave a wreath for former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher at a street sign in her name after hearing of her death, in Port Stanley April 8

    A group of former British paratroopers, who fought in the Falklands War, salute as they leave a wreath for the former prime minister at a street sign in Port Stanley.


    The Reuters news agency has examined the notion of Thatcherism, a concept it describes as a "radical ideology that became the global norm".


    Steve Nallon, creator of the satirical puppet show Spitting Image, in which Lady Thatcher was often a comic target, tells the BBC: "She was a gift, she was a wonderful character to do - such a wonderful, varied personality."

    Flowers being carried at the residence of Baroness Thatcher in Chester Square

    Well-wishers have left flowers at the former prime minister's residence in Chester Square, London.

    2005: Kevin Saunders in Romford, Essex

    emails: Has there ever been a leader who divided opinion so much? As a working-class lad of the '80s, she offered my generation the chance of wealth only previously available to the middle class. A lot of my generation can say she made life better. But I understand how others say she tried - and succeeded in places - in destroying the lives of other working-class people.


    Perhaps her most visible legacy in Wales was the virtual disappearance of the coal mines and the birth of a new economy of service industries and technology.

    BBC Wales economics correspondent Sarah Dickins reports from Newbridge, while Jamie Owen discusses the industrial legacy of the Thatcher era with former Labour minister and mining union officer Kim Howells and economic advisor Prof Patrick Minford. Watch here.


    Glasgow City Council has urged people to stay away from the city's George Square after hundreds gathered to mark the death of Baroness Thatcher. The council said it was concerned the gathering - organised via social media - was intended to be a "party".


    Lord Howe, who quit Baroness Thatcher's government over differences in economic policy and her leadership style, says he "still looks on our years of uneasy but creative partnership with a great sense of privilege and achievement".

    Writing in the Evening Standard, he says "her tragedy is that she may be remembered less for the brilliance of her achievements than for the recklessness with which, towards the end, she sought to impose upon others the sovereignty of her own opinions".

    Baroness Thatcher in a tank during a visit to British forces in Fallingbostel, Germany, in 1986

    Baroness Thatcher's combative style, perhaps symbolically evoked in this photograph taken during a visit to British forces based in Germany, won her plaudits and critics in equal measure.


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