Thame MP John Howell has paid tribute to late former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher for helping harbour his own political ambitions.
The 87 year old’s family announced on Monday she had died following a stroke at the Ritz Hotel in London.
Baroness Thatcher (pictured here on one of her regular visits to services at Ellesborough’s St Peter and St Paul Church in 1990) was Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and the first woman in the role.
And Mr Howell said he was ‘immensely saddened’ to hear the news of her death.
He said: “Our thoughts must first be with her family and friends.
“A lot has been written about the contribution she made to this country and in particular the optimism she created.
“I remember her time as Prime Minister very clearly; it was when my own political ambitions were born and I proudly assisted in one of her projects – the Know How Fund.
“I remember particularly the contribution she made to the freeing up of central and eastern Europe. Her creation of the Know How Fund as the principal means of distributing assistance to the region as it struggled out of communism was far-sighted.
“With relatively little money it made a massive contribution to the transformation of the area and I happily joined Margaret Thatcher as a post-Cold War warrior seeking to in still the notions of democracy and of a market economy.”
Baroness Thatcher, who regularly attended church services in Ellesborough outside Thame, was a divisive figure, though, and protests are expected at her £10 million funeral next Wednesday.
She will not have a state funeral but will be given the same status as the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.