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South West Conservative MEPs react to the death of ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher

Monday, 8 April 2013
Two of the South West Conservative MEPs have paid tribute to the ‘Iron Lady’ Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain’s first and only female Prime Minister to date, who died earlier today at the age of 87 following a stroke.

Ashley Fox, who was elected to the European Parliament in June 2009, said he joined the Conservative Party after being inspired by her leadership. In a statement he said: "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 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."

Julie Girling, also elected to the European Parliament in June 2009 and who includes Lady Thatcher as one of the three people she would invite to dinner, tweeted:

Downing Street has announced that Baroness Thatcher will receive a ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul's Cathedral next week.

UPDATE (18/04, 20:23):
Conservative MEP Giles Chichester has this afternoon issued a special issue of his monthly newsletter in which he has penned a very personal and touching tribute to Baroness Thatcher recalling some of the occasions in which he was in her company.

In it he writes: "In 1983 I was on duty at the polling station where Mrs. T and Denis cast their vote. I kept their polling cards as a souvenir and later I asked for their autographs. To my great pleasure back came Mrs. Thatcher’s card personally signed with a nice note accompanying it. I have it to this day. I now appreciate, from my own experience of the work involved in being a politician, even more the effort involved in this gesture for me and the countless others to whom she gave such personal consideration."

"The press had been full of comment and praise for the life and work of Lady Thatcher. I share it all. She was an inspiration to me and I thought she was wonderful. What more can I say?"

Click to continue reading Mr Chichester's newsletter tribute.

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