MARGARET Thatcher made Britain great again, says the leader of Hillingdon Council.
Conservative Ray Puddifoot was one of the borough politicians who paid a glowing tribute to the former Prime Minister after she died on Monday.
“You simply cannot underestimate the immense difference Margaret Thatcher made to this country,” said Mr Puddifoot. “At home and abroad, she put the ‘great’ back into Great Britain.”
The Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, John Randall, said Baroness Thatcher was one of the best peacetime Prime Ministers.
“I am very sad to hear the news that Lady Thatcher has died,” he told the Gazette.
“I know that she was not universally popular, but she was very much the right leader for this country at a pivotal time in our history.
“She was, of course, the first woman PM and that on its own was a magnificent achievement.
“I firmly believe that her resoluteness and courage together with that of President Reagan meant the Iron Curtain finally came down and freedom was achieved by so many people in central and east Europe.
“I admired her for the way she defended the Falkland Islanders and seemingly never flinched from what she saw as being the right thing to do.
“Regardless of party politics, she must go down as one of our greatest peacetime Prime Ministers, someone who was truly a great Briton.”
Nick Hurd, the Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, perhaps feels closer to Baroness Thatcher than many. His father, Douglas – now Lord Hurd of Westwell – served as her Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary.
The MP said: “Few deny that Britain was in a mess when Mrs Thatcher came to power. Her robust leadership reversed a terrible decline and we should always be grateful for that.
“Her impact was immense.”
The Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, John McDonnell, was away on leave and the Gazette was unable to contact him.
But he will have strong memories of the Greater London Council’s rate-capping clash with the Thatcher government in 1985, when he was the authority’s deputy leader under Ken Livingstone and led the defiance of the Whitehall measures.
Baroness Thatcher, as education minister in December 1972, gave a speech to Uxbridge Conservatives, and returned to the borough as PM on February 17, 1989, where she opened St Margaret’s Church Centre in Windsor Street, Uxbridge.
In her speech she said: “Your church has long been linked with local business and commerce. I was very pleased to see that local businesses have contributed £10,000 of sponsorship for events at this new church centre.
“We see here today a small but shining example of this tide of corporate generosity which is now flowing ever more strongly.”
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