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UK Politics

Conservative Party conference: David Cameron hails influence of Margaret Thatcher


David Cameron hailed the influence of Margaret Thatcher on his approach today as he led Conservatives in a rousing tribute to the former prime minister.

The party's annual conference has prominently featured memories of its much-loved ex-leader, who died in April, from an opening video tribute to a range of Iron Lady memorabilia.

Mr Cameron, in his keynote address told activists: "We in this room are a team. And this year, we said goodbye to one of our team.

"Margaret Thatcher made our country stand tall again, at home and abroad.

"Rescuing our economy. Giving power to our people. Spreading home ownership. Creating work. Winning the Cold War. Saving the Falklands."

Recounting an anecdote, he said he had once asked her about her record in office.

"I was sitting next to her at a dinner - and I was really nervous. As ever she was totally charming, she put me at ease.

"But after a while I said: 'Margaret, if you had your time in government again, is there anything you'd do differently?'

"And she turned to me and said: 'You know, I think I did pretty well the first time around'.

"Well we can all agree with that - and we can all agree on this: she was the greatest peace-time prime minister our country has ever had."

Mr Cameron returned to the legacy of his predecessor as he concluded his speech.

"Margaret Thatcher once said 'we are in the business of planting trees for our children and grandchildren or we have no business being in politics at all'." he reminded the hall.

"That is what we are doing today."