The former British premier was condemned by a workers union and an Irish party.
Tributes, as well as criticism, poured in from around the world on Monday following the news that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 87, had died after suffering a stroke.
“It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother, Baroness Thatcher, died peacefully following a stroke this morning,’’ said spokesman, Timothy Bell.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, cut short a visit to Spain and cancelled a visit to France after the announcement.
“As our first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds,’’ he said.
“She didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country, and I believe she’ll go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister.’’
Queen Elizabeth II also expressed sadness at the former Conservative leader’s death and said she would send a private message to her family.
Ms. Thatcher is to receive a ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Mr. Cameron’s office said, rather than a state funeral as some of her supporters have demanded.
The date for the burial has not yet been set.
Ms. Thatcher, called the “Iron Lady’’ by Moscow during the Cold War, became prime minister in 1979 and was the first leader to win three elections in a row.
She resigned in 1990, under pressure from within her own party.
John Major, who succeeded Ms. Thatcher as prime minister and Conservative leader said she was “true force of nature’’ and a “political phenomenon.’’
Former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, with whom Thatcher formed an unlikely ally, said she was “a towering politician and a bright person’’ whose death made him sad.
U.S. President Barack Obama called her a great champion of “freedom and liberty’’ and an example to women around the world.
“Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history, we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will,’’ Mr. Obama said.
He cited her humble beginnings as a grocer’s daughter.
“She stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.’’
Thatcher led a major privatisation push and took Britain to war with Argentina in 1982 over the Falkland Islands.
“She will be forever remembered in the Islands for her decisiveness in sending a task force to liberate our home following the Argentine invasion,’’ said Mike Summers, a member of the Island’s legislative assembly.
Not all good
Her death was greeted as a “great day’’ by coal miners, for whom she became a hated figure during the 1980s when she clashed with their unions, refusing to give in to their demands.
“For the union this could not come soon enough and I’m pleased that I have outlived her, said David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, who turned 70 on Monday.
“It looks like one of the best birthdays I have ever had.’’
She was also criticised in Northern Ireland, where she is perceived by republicans as responsible for the deaths of 10 hunger strikers in the infamous Maze prison because of her intransigence.
“Here in Ireland, her espousal of old Draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering,’’ said Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams.
Her period in office coincided with a “challenging time for British-Irish relations,’’ said Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Ms. Thatcher survived an IRA bomb attack at the Conservative conference in 1984.
However, “Mrs. Thatcher signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement which laid the foundation for improved North-South cooperation and ultimately the Good Friday Agreement,’’ he continued.
Former London mayor, Ken Livingstone, said she was responsible for “every real problem’’ in Britain today, because “she was fundamentally wrong.’’
Ms. Thatcher had suffered several minor strokes in 2002 and was deeply saddened by the death of her husband, Denis, in 2003.
There have been many speculations about her health in recent years and a 2011 film starring Meryl Streep portrayed her as having dementia.
Though a divisive figure for many, she was courted by the left and the right.
Former Labour premiers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, invited her for tea; and Mr. Cameron has also tried to associate himself with her policies and style of leadership.
In spite of her famous tussles with Brussels, European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, said: “She will be remembered both for her contributions and reserves to our common project.’’
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, praised her as a “truly a great leader’’ who “inspired a generation of political leaders.’’
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