Opinions divided on life of former PM

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Long serving local politicians have remarked on the death of divisive former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher.

Both Conservative Ripley town councillor Ron Ashton and Labour borough Councillor Paul Jones - say the Iron Lady inspired them to get into politics in the 1980s, but for very different reasons.

Former mayor of Amber Valley Cllr Ashton described Baroness Thatcher as ‘one of the greatest Prime Minister’s’ Great Britain has had this week, following her death on Monday. He said: “She was the first Conservative Prime Minister I voted for.

“I realised with all the strike actions, walk outs and disruption to Britain - that the working man could not afford a Labour Government.”

He went on to say: “She was a positive person, if she said this is what we are going to do, she did it.”

Baroness Thatcher’s reign saw her deregulate the financial sector, privatise state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. She will also be remembered for the country’s victory in the Falklands War and her 1984 battle with coal workers’ unions over a bid to close 20 state-owned mines. Former borough council leader Cllr Paul Jones said he joined the Labour party as a reaction to her policies.

“I have sympathy for her family at this upsetting time for them,” he said. “But there were a lot of social implications with the policies she pursued - and certainly not all to the betterment of society.”