Thatcher family 'proud' of Queen funeral attendance

MPs pay tribute to ex-Conservative PM who ’rescued’ Britain from decline

Mark Thatcher speaks to the press outside the home of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Mark Thatcher speaks to the press outside the home of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 15:32

The son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher said his mother would have been “humbled” to know the Queen will attend her funeral, her son said today

In a statement outside her central London home Mark Thatcher said: “I would like to say how enormously proud and grateful we are that Her Majesty has agreed to attend the service next week in St Paul’s. “And I know my mother would be greatly honoured as well as humbled by her presence.

“By any measure, my mother was blessed with a long life and a very full one. “However the inevitability or the inevitable conclusion may appear, of the recent illness that she suffered, it is no easier for us to bear in what is without doubt a very sad moment.

“We have quite simply been overwhelmed by messages of support, condolence, of every type from far and wide and I know that my mother would be pleased they come from people of all walks of life.

“These messages often convey personal stories and vignettes of part of the journey of my mother’s life and we are all enormously grateful for the warmth that these messages convey and they will be a source of encouragement and strength as we face the inevitable days ahead and for that I am most grateful.”

Speaking in the House of Commons British prime minister David Cameron said Margaret Thatcher was a prime minister who made Britain great again.

Parliament was recalled so that MPs and peers could pay tribute to the former Tory prime minister who died on Monday. Mr Cameron told the Commons that Lady Thatcher was an “extraordinary woman”. She rescued Britain from post-war decline, he said, telling MPs that her policies, controversial at the time she was in government, were now accepted by politicians of all colours.

Mr Cameron said: “They say ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’, well in 1979 came the hour and came the lady. “She made the political weather, she made history, and — let this be her epitaph — she made our country great again.”

Margaret Thatcher was a “unique and towering figure” whatever views are held of her, Labour leader Ed Miliband said today. Mr Miliband paid warm tributes to the former prime minister, who died on Monday, highlighting a series of policy areas where “she was right”.

Speaking in front of busy — though not packed — Labour benches, he highlighted the Falkland Islands and parts of the privatisation programme as successes. But he also said it was important to reflect where she had been wrong — picking out mining and Baroness Thatcher’s position on Nelson Mandela and South Africa.

Mr Miliband told the Commons: “Whatever your view of her, Margaret Thatcher was a unique and towering figure. “I disagreed with much of what she did but I respect what her death means for many, many people who admired her and I honour her personal achievements. “On previous occasions to remember the extraordinary prime ministers who have served our nation. Today we also remember a prime minister who defined her age.

PA