‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher dies of stroke at 87

London: Britain's first and only woman Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, referred to as Iron Lady, on Monday died of a stroke here at the age of 87, leaving an iconic stamp on world politics as one of most influential figures in the 20th century.
 
The tough and outspoken Thatcher, a global champion of free market economic revival, is survived by her twin children Carol and Mark Thatcher.
 
"It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning," Lord Bell, her spokesman said.
 
Thatcher, the longest serving British Prime Minister, had led the British government between 1979 and 1990 and leaves behind a strong legacy within the Conservative party and British politics at large.
 
The former Conservative leader, the first British woman to hold the post of Prime Minister, had lived a withdrawn life after leaving active politics and had been suffering from dementia for some time.
 
She is believed to have checked into the Ritz hotel in the days leading up to her death as she was unable to cope with life at home, media reports have said.
 
British Prime Minister David Cameron said, "It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher's death. We've lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton".
 
Buckingham Palace said the Queen was sad to hear the news and that she would be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.
 
Thatcher's legacy had a profound effect upon the policies of her successors, both Conservative and Labour, while her radical and sometimes confrontational approach defined her 11-year period at No 10, BBC said.
 
The grocer's daughter from Grantham was the outsider who rose suddenly to become Tory leader when Sir Edward Heath, the former Prime Minister, was toppled by his own party in 1975.
 
A 1976 speech criticising the repressive policies of the Soviet Union led to a Russian newspaper dubbing her "the Iron Lady".