Thatcher remembered for courage ... and the poll tax

First  British woman Prime Minister: Margaret Thatcher
First British woman Prime Minister: Margaret Thatcher

Baroness Thatcher is dead. How will she be remembered locally?

She visited Lancashire for triumphal party conferences, but the famous Ribble Valley by-election of 1991 saw the defeat of her vision for the Poll Tax.

This week our local MPs united in their praise for her legacy.

Ribble Valley MP and Deputy Speaker of the Commons Nigel Evans said: “Margaret Thatcher was a political colossus and a force of nature. She led our country through extremely difficult times and her premiership can still be felt in the UK today. As the first female Prime Minister she represents a landmark in British politics.” Ben Wallace, MP for Wyre said: “Margaret Thatcher was the last of the great British leaders. She reversed Britain’s decline and defeated socialism. She believed in people and their ability to better themselves and in doing so bettering their country. She was brave and decent, often defying the status quo to win.” Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said she had made it possible to express pride in Britain again: “Her courage and determination whether it be the Falklands, Europe, the economy or the Cold War are now part of history and certainly as our first woman Prime Minister, history will write her large.”

Former MP, now North West Conservative MEP, Sir Robert Atkins, who served as a junior minister in her Government said: “She was controversial, but then so was Churchhill, as was Gladstone and Lloyd George. PMs of substance create controversy.”