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Essex MPs have been paying tribute to Baroness Thatcher who has died today following a stroke.
Sir Alan Haselhurst, MP for Saffron Walden said:
"I think she deserves to be numbered as one of that small number of truly great leaders of the 20th century.
"There is no doubt that her Premiership was a very, very important turning point in the future of our country."
Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, said:
“Margaret Thatcher changed not only the face of politics but the face of a nation. Through her dedication, commitment, energy and determination Mrs Thatcher secured a successful future for this country that many at the time thought unthinkable. Margaret Thatcher’s enduring legacy will be to leave a nation in a better state than she found it.”
Simon Burns, MP for Chelmsford said:
“It is very sad that Margaret Thatcher has died today, she was a colossus on the political scene, not only for the 15 years that she led the Conservative Party but after she left the premiership in 1990, she continued to dominate British politics.
“Margaret Thatcher is the reason that I won the Chelmsford seat in the 1987 election. I was defending an inherited majority of 387 votes and it was due to the policies that she was pursuing that I romped home with a majority of over 7,500 votes."
Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow said:
“Truly great people come along once a generation and Margaret Thatcher was one of our greatest Prime Ministers and our first woman PM.
“She was a huge influence on my own politics - and was one of the reasons I first decided to become a Conservative. Her influence on the Conservative Party as a whole is almost unparalleled.
Sir Bob Russell, MP for Colchester said:
"I met Baroness Thatcher just the once when she visited Merville Barracks for the annual “Goose Green Reunion Lunch” for retired Officers of The Parachute Regiment who had served in the Falklands conflict. I think this was two years’ ago.
"On being introduced to her, and having been told I was a “good constituency MP” although I was not a Conservative MP, she smiled as she shook my hand – and said: “I am so pleased that you are a good man."
Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, paid this tribute:
"She will always be revered as a woman of principle with iron determination, even by those who disagree with her.
"People forget that everyone thought Britain was finished in the 1970s, until she became prime minister.
"Her premiership was about far more than defeating General Galtieri and the old trade unions. It was about restoring national self-belief. We forget how highly respected she is in other countries, particularly in those which have now become democracies. And as time has gone by, she has been proved right about so many things, not least about the disaster of European Union.
"She was surprisingly humble. She was always very embarrassed by too much praise. She always said she could never have achieved anything on her own. She became, and will remain, a British icon for future generations, both at home and abroad."
Vicky Ford MEP East of England tweeted:
"Baroness Thatcher was a revered leader across much of Europe as well as the UK. RIP."