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Former UK PM Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke

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Posted at 8:06 AM, Apr 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-08 10:13:53-04
(Photo Courtesy: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum)

(Photo Courtesy: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum)

By Laura Smith-Spark

(CNN) — Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died Monday following a stroke, her spokeswoman confirmed.

Britain’s only female prime minister, Thatcher served from 1979 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the “Iron Lady” for her personal and political toughness.

Thatcher retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several strokes after that.

CNN’s Laura Perez Maestro contributed to this report.

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Here is a statement from Governor Bob McDonnell following news of the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

“With great sadness, I learned of the passing of Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Throughout her career, including 15 years as leader of the Conservative Party, Prime Minister Thatcher kept to her principles and used her remarkable talents to achieve positive results for the country she loved. As the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom she set an example for generations to come by leading with courage, grace, and unfaltering resolve. In my fourth year in the legislature in 1995, Baroness Thatcher addressed the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond, saying ‘those unwilling to live the strenuous life of liberty; those who do not value freedom for its own sake, rather than its comforts, are unlikely to hold on to it… when I consider all that this place has given to democracy, I am moved to say that in spirit, I am a Virginian.’ Virginia stands with the people of Britain in mourning the passing of this pioneering leader and in reflecting on her life of service.”