'We are all Thatcherites now': David Cameron leads tributes to Margaret Thatcher and defends funeral costs

Osborne shows his emotions as Bishop of London delivers funeral address

David Cameron insisted “we are all Thatcherites now” and paid tribute to her impact on public life ahead of the former Prime Minister’s ceremonial funeral today.

He also defended the scale of the service at St Paul’s Cathedral – and added that nations around the world would find it “extraordinary” if Britain did not mount a “fitting tribute” to Baroness Thatcher.

Asked by BBC Radio 4 whether he accepted that she had been a divisive figure, Mr Cameron replied that by winning the big arguments she had actually settled divisions.

“In a way we are all Thatcherites now,” he said. “It is inevitable some people take a different view, but the point about division is important because she was a bold politician who recognised that consensus was failing... she created a new consensus.”

He added: “She was the first woman prime minister. She served for longer in the job than anyone for 150 years. She achieved some extraordinary things in her life. I think what is happening today is absolutely fitting and right.

“And I think, looking from overseas, people who respected and revered Margaret Thatcher and what she did would think we were taking an extraordinary view if we somehow didn’t commemorate this.”

During the service Chancellor George Osborne appeared to by crying as the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, delivered the address in St Paul's Cathedral.

The Prime Minister urged Lady Thatcher’s political opponents to show respect during the event, even though they may have disagreed with her.

He said: “I think it will be quite a sombre event but it is a fitting tribute to a great Prime Minister, respected around the world. I think other countries in the world would think Britain had got it completely wrong if we didn't mark this in a proper way.”

The former Labour Cabinet minister, Lord Mandelson, acknowledged that Lady Thatcher had transformed politics – both for the Right and the Left.

He said: “She reframed British politics, she reframed it for us all. Incidentally I think she was had a greater impact in reframing politics than she did in transforming the country’s economy.

“But she certainly had a big impact and you can see it still today, you know people tend to define their politics by reference to her and what she stood for.”

Lord Mandelson disclosed he was not personally invited to the funeral and “didn’t feel I knew her well enough to do so”.

Lord Lawson of Blaby, who served as Chancellor under Lady Thatcher, said she “saved the nation from economic decline of an appalling nature which is difficult to recall now all these years afterwards”.

But he added: “The most important thing was the transformation of the British economy and the transformation of the mood of the British people.”

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering