The Thatcher years in Downing Street were ones of great social and economic change. While politicians are often praised for seeking consensus she is often remembered – for better or worse – for her uncompromising style.
A friend of Baroness Thatcher, Lady Hamilton, said: “She was a very special, outstanding Prime Minister. She was very brave, she always did what she knew was right.”
The deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes, said: “I came to parliament when Mrs Thatcher was elected. I was in parliament for seven years when she was the Prime Minister. She was a notable political figure of the last century, a notable political figure in Britain’s post-war history and the first woman Prime Minister.”
The Shadow Defence Secretary, Jim Murphy, said: “She managed to win more votes than the Labour party so she won elections and she changed the UK remarkably, kept us strong abroad and divided people very strongly here at home. But people are entitled, we are a democracy, people are entitled to all sorts of different views.”
Former Cabinet Minister, Michael Portillo, said: “One of the things Margaret Thatcher believed in was debate and free speech. She would not be unhappy that people are demonstrating and protesting today. She believed that she was right, but one of the reasons she believed she was right was that she tested her ideas in debate.”
Daubed on the umbrella of a spectator at the funeral was, “I mourn not for Thatcher but for her legacy,” part of which some feel, is to ignore that society’s playing fields are not level.
Euronews correspondent Ali May said: “Margaret Thatcher changed Britain, and doing so she deeply divided opinion, and she still does today. The debate on what the Iron Lady’s changes meant for the country is unlikely to subside for many years to come.”