FIELD PRODUCER, ASSOCIATED PRESS TELEVISION NEWS // 8.4.2013
British Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Margaret Thatcher, a fellow member of Britain’s Conservative Party, saying in London on Monday that the country had “lost a great leader”.
For admirers such as Cameron, Thatcher was a saviour who rescued Britain from ruin and laid the groundwork for an extraordinary economic renaissance. For critics, she was a heartless tyrant who ushered in an era of greed that kicked the weak out onto the streets and let the rich become filthy rich.
The so-called “Iron Lady”, who was the British prime minister for 11 years, imposed her will on a fractious, rundown nation – breaking the unions, triumphing in a far-off war, and selling off state industries at a record pace.
She left behind a leaner government and more prosperous nation by the time a political mutiny ousted her from No. 10 Downing Street.
One of her cabinet ministers then, who remains a cabinet minister in Cameron’s government, also paid tribute to her on Monday.
“If you look at in the global scale she and Ronald Reagan were the key figures, together with Gorbachev at the end, in bringing the end of the Soviet Union, a system of tyranny and repression which kept people, millions of people, hundreds of millions of people under the heal of communism,” Francis Maude said.
Thatcher’s spokesman, Tim Bell, said the former prime minister died from a stroke on Monday morning at the Ritz Hotel in London.