Tributes have been paid to Margaret Thatcher who died today. The 87-year-old, who served as prime minister between 1979 and 1990, suffered a stroke this morning, according to her spokesman. Baroness Thatcher had been ill for some time and her battles with dementia were documented in biopic the Iron Lady last year. Croydon South MP Richard Ottaway, who served in Baroness Thatcher's government when he represented Nottingham North in the 1980s, told the Advertiser: "I was terribly sad to hear about the death of Margaret Thatcher. Great Britain has lost a truly great Briton. "Margaret Thatcher was a controversial figure but politicians on all sides are indebted to her for her radical and bold leadership that gave citizens a real stake in their nation and a sense of pride. "To me she sums up all the reasons why I feel proud to be a Conservative. She smashed every glass ceiling in the book – as a woman, and as a grocer's daughter from a modest, working class background. She led by example and her achievements will forever course through the veins of our nation." Croydon's Assembly member Steve O'Connell told the Advertiser: "It's very tragic news for her family and the Conservative party but also she should be remembered for turning a very sick country around economically and socially. "She should be recognised for her standing up to the vested interests of the unions which offers important lessons to today's politicians. "I know David Cameron will take Thatcher's legacy from her principles of always standing up against these vested interests for the good of the country. "I am very shocked really." Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell said: "Margaret Thatcher didn't get everything right (who does?), but she reversed this country's slow decline and, alongside Ronald Reagan, played a key role in winning the Cold War. "She gave thousands of Croydon residents the chance to own their home, to own shares, to start their own business. "She was in politics for the right reasons - because she had strong beliefs about how to change this country for the better. If she said something, you knew it was because she believed it, not because some pollster had told her to say it. "And she motivated many people to get involved in politics - both those like me who supported her and others like my best friend who disagreed with everything she stood for. "She will go down as one of this country's greatest prime ministers." Meanwhile, local politicians have taken to Twitter to express their respect. Labour's Croydon North MP Steve Reed tweeted: "A major political figure & Britain's only woman PM has died. Regardless of political differences respect is due. Condolences to her family." Waddon councillor Claire Hilley said: "Very sad to hear that the finest Prime Minister #MargaretThatcher has died this morning - very sad day for all Britons"
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