Jun 17, 2009, 6:34 AM
The first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Baroness Thatcher has died, from a stroke aged 87 her spokesperson confirmed today.
The Union Jack has been lowered to half mast at the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street in London as well as across the country.
The Union Jack at the High Commission will be flown at half mast all week.
A book of condolence has been opened at the High Commission and will be available for members of the public to sign at the British High Commission between the hours of 09:00 – 12:30.
Prime Minister David Cameron has cut short his visit to Europe and is flying back to the United Kingdom. Before departing, he said:
“Today is a truly sad day for our country. We’ve lost a great Prime Minister, a great leader, a great Briton. As our first woman Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds, and the real thing about Margaret Thatcher is that she didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country. I believe she’ll go down as the greatest British peacetime Prime Minister.
“Today most of all we should think of her family. We’ve lost somebody great in our public life but they’ve lost a much loved mother and grandmother and we should think of them today. Her legacy will be the fact that she served her country so well and that she saved our country, and that she showed immense courage in doing so, and people will be learning about what she did and her achievements in decades, probably centuries to come. That’s her legacy, but today we must also think of her family.”
Foreign Secretary William Hague MP said: “She changed our country forever and all of us owe so much to her. A legacy few will ever equal. Rest in peace Margaret.”
UK High Commissioner to The Gambia David Morley said:It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Baroness Thatcher. She was a truly remarkable woman who led with compassion, strength and character. Many may not have agreed with all she stood for but there is no doubt she did her best for the UK and was an inspiration to millions of women around the world.”
Margaret Thatcher is the UK’s longest serving Prime Minister and the first female political leader in Europe. She will be remembered for empowering a generation of women across the world.