Britain's first and only female prime minister Margaret Thatcher has died peacefully following a stroke at the age of 87.
Baroness Thatcher has died at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell has announced.
Lord Bell said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.
"A further statement will be made later."
Baroness Thatcher, Britain's first and only woman prime minister, had become increasingly frail and was suffering ill health in recent years.
She was admitted to hospital shortly before Christmas where she underwent an operation to remove a growth from her bladder but was allowed to return home before new year.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, paid tribute saying: "It was with great sadness that I learned of Lady Thatcher's death. We've lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton."
“The problem with Socialism is sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”
A statement from Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family."
Baroness Thatcher, who was prime minister between 1979 and 1990, has been credited with transforming a nation in one decade, putting Britain back among the leading industrial nations of the world.
Update further tributes
I am terribly saddened today to learn of the death of Margaret Thatcher. The world has lost a true champion of freedom and democracy.
It is well known that my husband and Lady Thatcher enjoyed a very special relationship as leaders of their respective countries during one of the most difficult and pivotal periods in modern history. Ronnie and Margaret were political soul mates, committed to freedom and resolved to end Communism. As Prime Minister, Margaret had the clear vision and strong determination to stand up for her beliefs at a time when so many were afraid to “rock the boat.” As a result, she helped to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of millions of people.
Ronnie and I knew her as a dear and trusted friend, and I will miss her. The United States knew Margaret as a spirited and courageous ally, and the world owes her a debt of gratitude.
My heart goes out to Mark, Carol and the entire Thatcher family.
A personal farewell to Great Britain’s Iron Lady, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She stands beside Ronald Reagan, not just as two towering figures of the 20th century, but as political soul-mates. In those pre-politically correct times, Reagan called her “the best man in England." They deflected vicious attacks by both enemies and alleged allies, fought for conservative policies that revived their nations’ broken economies, and together helped bring about the end of the Cold War. A few years ago, it was my distinct honor to have dinner with Lady Thatcher and to introduce her at a speech she gave at Harding University in Searcy, AR. It remains one of the great honors of my life and the photos with her are cherished treasures.