Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

She was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is currently the only woman to have held the office. A Soviet journalist dubbed her the “Iron Lady”, a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.

In the 1950 and 1951 general elections, Roberts was the Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dartford. The local party selected her as its candidate because, though not a dynamic public speaker, Margaret Roberts was well-prepared and fearless in her answers. Another prospective candidate recalled that “Once she opened her mouth, the rest of us began to look rather second-rate”. She attracted media attention as the youngest and the only female candidate. She lost on both occasions to Norman Dodds, but reduced the Labour majority by 6.000, and then a further 1.000. During the campaigns, she was supported by her parents and by Denis Thatcher, whom she married in December 1951. Denis funded his wife’s studies for the bar; she qualified as a barrister in 1953 and specialized in taxation.

Baroness Thatcher was the only woman elected as prime minister or leader of a major political party in the United Kingdom, and the first British prime minister elected three times in a row (1979, 1983 and 1987), a political record which only Tony Blair managed to equal in 2005. Margaret Thatcher became a member of the British Parliament in 1959. It is one of the most important British political personalities, its mandate being the longest continuous term in British political history. She is also one of the most controversial political figures, the first female prime minister in the history of Europe.

Along with Churchill, Thatcher shares the honour of having a bronze statue in the lobby of the Parliament House. In 2011, her life was screened in a film of great success, “The Iron Lady” ,with Meryl Streep starring in the main role for which she was declared in 2012, “Best Actress” at the Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar.

Thatcher died on the morning of 8 April 2013, at the Ritz Hotel in London, following a stroke.

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