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Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dies following a stroke

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: April 09, 2013

  • Colin Greggory with Margaret Thatcher in 1979

  • Margaret Thatcher on a visit to Dairyland at Newquay

Comments (21)

4.45pm UPDATE:

Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, said "I admire Margaret Thatcher’s sense of purpose and determination.

"She is an inspiration to women politicians as she succeeded against the odds in the male dominated world of Westminster.

"Along with many nations around the world I also admire her for her contribution to the cause of freedom, promoting human rights and democracy especially in the what was the Soviet Union."

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4.30pm UPDATE:

Stephen Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for Newquay and St Austell, said "Whether or not you agreed with her politics, and I didn't, there's no doubting that Margaret Thatcher was a fearless leader who has left a considerable impression on Britain."

3.45pm UPDATE:

THE FORMER MP for St Ives and defence secretary during Margaret Thatcher’s first government has talked about his memories of the late ‘Iron Lady’.

Sir John Nott, who served as a National Liberal and Conservative MP for St Ives from 1966 to 1983 knew Baroness Thatcher well, having been appointed a cabinet position following her election as Prime Minister in 1979.

“It’s very sad. She was a very great lady. Contrary to what a lot of people say, I think she was a very kind person,” said Sir John, who has a family home in St Erth.

As her Secretary of State for Defence from 1981, Sir John played a key role in the Falklands War, as well as working in his constituency in west Cornwall.

Describing his time as constituency MP for west Cornwall, the ex-minister voiced his support of Baroness Thatcher’s social housing policies and trade union battles.

“I always agreed with her attitude towards the EU and the way she tackled the trade unions. And I always thought the sale of council housing was good.

“I visited the council housing in Penzance and the people who bought their houses looked after them so much better.”

Baroness Thatcher often spent time in Cornwall, which was one of her favourite holiday hotspots.

Despite Sir John Nott leaving politics in 1983, Baroness Thatcher’s close ties to the area remained.

“I left politics in 1983 after she finished her first term. I enjoyed my time as MP, but it became very difficult later on,” Sir John added.

3.30pm UPDATE:

Paying tribute to Baroness Thatcher after speaking at a business lunch in Penzance this afternoon, deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, said: "Margaret Thatcher was one of the defining figures of modern British politics. Whatever side of the political debate you stand on, no one can deny that she left a lasting imprint on the country she served as Prime Minister.

"Everyone will be united today in acknowledging the strength of her character and radicalism of her policies.

"My thoughts are with her family and friends on what is a very sad day for them."

3.15pm UPDATE:

George Eustice MP said, “Margaret Thatcher took the reins at a desperate time for Britain when strong leadership was required.

"She played a central role in turning the country around, challenged the resignation to post war British decline and also contributed to the end of the cold war.

"While some of her policies were contentious at the time, she will ultimately be remembered, not only as Britain’s first woman Prime Minister, but as a great leader.”

3pm UPDATE:

Speaking about Margaret Thatcher's death, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall Sherryl Murray told www.thisiscornwall.co.uk: "It is a very sad day.

"My heart goes out to Mark and Carol Thatcher for the loss of their mum."

She went on to say: "I don't think that there is a politician who can surpass what she achieved... from being brought up in a corner shop to reaching the hight of prime minister is phenomenal and shows what sort of a special lady she was.

"Times have now changed but in her time to have achieved that in such a male dominated environment is amazing.

"She was an example to myself and female colleagues of all parties. Her achievements are beyond what I could ever achieve."

"She will always be remembered as being one of the great leaders of this country."

In reply to those who might have negative memories of the Baroness, Murray said: "We hear negative comments about introducing the poll tax but what we have to remember is Baroness Thatcher was very clear in her decisions.

"She didn't hesitate and in she also made the very difficult decision immediately to defend the Falklands."

"We hear negativity about introducing the right to buy but she made it possible for a lot of hard working families to own a house of their own."

Murray added: "She rewarded people who wanted to get on in life. I think she should be remembered in a positive way for that.

"If there was ever a legacy to leave it's that Baroness Thatcher showed us you have to take hard decisions, they might not like you for cuts, but if you stick to it you can get the country back on its feet."

She concluded: "If ever there was a lady I admire it was her."

2:50pm UPDATE:

Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, said on Twitter: "RIP Margaret Thatcher - great lady and amazing leader. Sadly I doubt we will ever see her type again. We could do with someone like her now."

2.15pm UPDATE By Ashley Fox, MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar:

"I joined the Conservative Party because I was inspired by Margaret Thatcher's leadership. She is my political hero and one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century.

"She brought Britain back from the brink of bankruptcy, helped win the Cold war and once again assured our country a leading role in global politics.

"In the European Parliament I sit beside MEPs from former Warsaw Pact countries, something we could not have dreamt about thirty years ago.

"Many of my friends from Poland and the Czech Republic tell me that their countries were set free from soviet domination thanks to the efforts of the Iron Lady.

"I am saddened by Margaret Thatcher's death. She was the embodiment of British determination and grit."

2pm UPDATE By Colin Gregory:

MARGARET Thatcher, after becoming Prime Minister, loved to visit Cornwall, and I was lucky enough to interview her at her holiday bungalow at Constantine Bay on each occasion.

However, one of the most memorable times during my career in journalism was in March 1979 when she did her barnstorming pre-election tour of North and Mid-Cornwall, starting at a factory in Launceston and ending with hustings in the streets of Truro.

In between she stopped everywhere she thought she might raise a vote, and she was especially aware of what made a good picture opportunity.

You did not have to ask Margaret Thatcher if she would pose for a picture, she was a natural.

When we stopped at a farm near Wadebridge she picked up a lamb and engineered a great shot; at Truro she was visiting the old Pottery in Chapel Hill and got down close to a model of the old building.

I recall that a disgruntled man from Stithians threw an egg at her outside the pottery. It hit her and gave the tour even more pubilcity.

When we went out on photo shoots at Constantine Bay she would borrow the pet terrier of the owner of the bungalow, Lord Wolfson, and let the dog pull her across the beach to make a good action shot.

On another occasion she went out on the beach with a sharp stick to pick up litter so that she gave the appearance of trying to tidy up the nation.

All the time husband Denis Thatcher played golf at Trevose, leaving his wife to rush around on what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday for them both.

On one afternoon she headed off to Trewithen Gardens at Probus - it ended with a picture of Margaret and a beautiful pink camellia, just right for the following day’s newspaper coverage.

Being in Cornwall meant that she was far enough from Downing Street to appear to be having a holiday - I don’t think the word relaxation was in her vocabulary - but near enough to be at the helm if a crisis arose.

1pm: Margaret Thatcher dies of a stroke:

Former Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher has died at 87 following a stroke, her spokesman has told the BBC.

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. A further statement will be made later."

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

Thatcher wasn't a stranger to Cornwall, a historic battleground for Conservatives and Liberals.

She visited Truro on March 10th 1979 during her election campaign and replied to a question about a 13% fall to the Tories in a poll by saying "Thirteen is my lucky number. I was born on 13th of the month, married on the 13th and my children were christened on the 13th."

She continued her visit in Launceston where she visited an aluminium company and a cattle market in a bid to draw attention to small businesses.

She was later given a pasty by a baker outside Parsons Bakery in Launceston.

Renowned for her work ethic, a couple of weeks later she arrived at St Mawgan and made her way to Padstow. An 86-year-old pushed her way to the front to speak to the hopeful politician and Thatcher said "86 and still working! Marvellous!"

To share your memories of the former Prime Minister email thisiscornwall@c-dm.co.uk

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21 comments

  • Tolgus  |  April 18 2013, 9:12PM

    "rid my homeland"? England?

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  • Doitdreckley  |  April 10 2013, 12:48PM

    Charles, two points which may assist with your education (although you are a D minus student): 1. Inflation hit a massive 28% during her first term in office. 2. As a percentage of GDP her Government was spending far more than the Blair and Brown governments.

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  • number1photo  |  April 09 2013, 5:16PM

    I never met Mrs Thatch but that photo of Colin Gregory is really scary !!

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  • emurfitt  |  April 09 2013, 1:44PM

    Can't say how much people know about economics, Charlespk, but most people have the intelligence and common humanity to see when the poor are carrying the burden of the rich man's greed - and to know it's wrong.

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  • Charlespk  |  April 09 2013, 1:11PM

    The RED ARROWS demonstrate clearly just how little people know about economics. http://tinyurl.com/3w98qx7

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  • Charlespk  |  April 09 2013, 1:06PM

    Quote:- Much of the current financial crisis can be laid at her feet." What unadulterated twaddle. . Margaret Thatcher was one of the few politicians who actually understood inflation. . We certainly wouldn't be in this almighty mess if she had still been in charge. . She wouldn't have kept silent when Clinton repealed Glass-Steagal Act.

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  • emurfitt  |  April 09 2013, 12:59PM

    A sad and bitter tragedy for the British people the day this woman was born.

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  • ThomasFlamank  |  April 09 2013, 11:34AM

    I could never agree with her or her party. I could never agree with what she did. I could never agree with spending £8 million on her funeral. But I find that partying over her death and the violence distasteful.

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  • Charlespk  |  April 09 2013, 9:47AM

    And for murderers like Gerry Adams who've been accepted back into mainstream politics to be making the comments he has, is shameful.

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  • Charlespk  |  April 09 2013, 9:38AM

    Quote:- "She deregulated the financial markets that sowed the seeds for the huge economic problems that we have now." And that's total rubbish Doitdreckley. You can't cleanse Gordon Brown with inaccurate slurs now she's dead.

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