Thatcher's economic guru dies at 82
Professor Sir Alan Walters, the former economics adviser to Margaret Thatcher whose controversial role led to the resignation of Nigel Lawson, has died at the age of 82.
Sir Alan was today described as "the finest of friends" by Baroness Thatcher, who paid tribute to him as "radical, fearless, consistent and creative."
He had reportedly been suffering from Parkinson's Disease and his health had deteriorated before Christmas. He and his wife Paddie celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary on December 27.
In a statement Baroness Thatcher said: "Alan Walters was the best economic adviser any Prime Minister ever had - radical, fearless, consistent and creative.
"He was a great public servant, and to me personally he was the finest of friends."
Sir Alan was first appointed as an economic advisor at Number 10 in 1981. He later returned in 1989 when he repeatedly clashed with Nigel Lawson, then Chancellor.
Walters argued for Britain keeping to strict monetary targets to curb inflation - a view shared by Mrs Thatcher and popular with the Tory Right.
The economist was particularly scornful of Lawson's persistent desire to get Britain to join the European Monetary Union, which he labelled "half-baked".
The row between the two men led to Mrs Thatcher, when pressed in the Commons by Labour Leader Neil Kinnock whether she would sack Walters, memorably saying that "advisers advise and ministers decide".
But Lawson's resignation in October 1989 - followed almost immediately afterwards by Sir Alan's own departure - effectively marked the beginning of the end of Thatcher's premiership, which occurred just over a year later.
After her departure, Sir Alan later criticised the more consensual approach to politics under John Major, Mrs Thatcher's successor, and to the single currency.
He felt he was vindicated when Britain crashed out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism in September 1992, known as Black Wednesday.
He later joined the US insurance firm AIG Trading Group as its vice-chairman.
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
First full-length look is finally here
Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star
Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Sex abuse inquiry: 'Victims receive death threats' after MPs release names online
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...
£10670 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...
£36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Gas Installation Manager is r...
£29000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Service and Brea...