Harpenden MP saddened by Margaret Thatcher’s death

PM Margaret Thatcher declares the final section of the M25 open, on October 29, 1986

PM Margaret Thatcher declares the final section of the M25 open, on October 29, 1986 - Credit: Archant

HARPENDEN MP Peter Lilley has paid warm tribute to the former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher who died this morning aged 87 after suffering a stroke.

Mr Lilley, who worked with Baroness Thatcher as a speech writer before being elected as an MP, said it was a sad day for British politics but her memory would “linger on forever”.

Recalling working alongside the UK’s first female Prime Minister he said: “The thing people don’t realise is the less important you were the kinder she was to you. When you became a cabinet minister she gave you a hard time.

“I can remember being summoned to an important emergency speech writing event and she had been abroad and had no sleep for days and tore into a cabinet minister. She noticed I had a black tie on and I said I had been to a funeral and she was full of concern. The contrast in the treatment was remarkable.

“She was so very decisive and energetic and working with her filled you with energy.”

Mr Lilley also has fond memories of Lady Thatcher - often dubbed the ‘Iron Lady’ - visiting St Albans City Hospital in 1985.

He added: “She went into one room and talked to an elderly lady. When she went to leave she [the patient] said thank you for coming to visit me and told her she bore a striking resemblance to the Prime Minister. She just thought she was a hospital visitor.”

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Baroness Thatcher served three consecutive terms in Downing Street from 1979 to 1990.

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