As it happened: Parliament pays tribute to Margaret Thatcher

Key points

  • David Cameron says she made "Britain great again" and was very kind to him personally.
  • But Labour leader says Lady Thatcher made the wrong decision on subjects including apartheid.
  • Nick Clegg says it is fair to shun Thatcherism while respecting Lady Thatcher.
  • Many Labour MPs decline to attend the debate.
  • The event lasted for more than six hours
  • Sir Mark Thatcher says his mother had a "long and full life".

Live text


  • Gavin Stamp 
  • Chris Davies 
  • Justin Parkinson 
  • Brian Wheeler 

Last updated 13 April 2013


Hello and welcome to our live coverage as Parliament reconvenes for one day to allow MPs and peers to pay their respects to the former Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher, who died on Monday. Politicians from all the main parties will be taking part, as the House of Commons and House of Lords discuss her legacy.


Politicians will be returning from constituencies and holidays to have their say. Several Labour MPs have described the event as a waste of money, and many are not expected to attend. Party leader Ed Miliband has urged as many as possible to come. In his speech he is expected to outline where he thinks Lady Thatcher, a Conservative, "went wrong" during her 11 years in power, from 1979 to 1990. Yet he is urging MPs who voice criticism of the former prime minister to "show respect".


The last time Parliament was recalled during a recess was in 2011, following the riots which occurred in the summer across several English cities.


Up to seven-and-a-half hours of parliamentary time has been granted for the tributes and debate, which start at about 14:30 BST.


Ahead of the discussions, some details of Lady Thatcher's funeral, next Wednesday, have been released. More than 700 armed forces personnel are to take place in the procession and ceremony.


Aside from proceedings in Parliament, Baroness Thatcher's son Sir Mark Thatcher will pay tribute to his mother at 14:00 BST.


One MP who will not be present at the debate is former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He is due to make a long-planned speech in France in his capacity as the UN's global education envoy and was unable to re-arrange his schedule. He has confirmed he and his wife Sarah will be attending Lady Thatcher's funeral.


Sand sculpture of LAdy Thatcher in Puri, India Beachgoers in Puri, India, have paid their own tribute to Lady Thatcher.


Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell says the debate is an occasion for "personal reflections" about Lady Thatcher and not "long speeches". He tells the BBC it is "very sad" that some Labour MPs have chosen to boycott the occasion.


The BBC's Norman Smith says for many Conservatives the debate will be a big "personal and emotional moment". In contrast, he says many Labour MPs feel their communities were "scarred" during the 1980s and have not forgotten this.