ISLE of Wight MP Andrew Turner has said he was sad to hear of the death this morning (Monday) of former prime minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher.
Mr Turner said: "Baroness Thatcher was quite simply the best prime minister of my lifetime, I am very sad to hear that she has died.
"She turned Great Britain around from being the 'sick man of Europe’ to a prosperous country with wealth spread throughout all parts of the nation and across all sectors of the public.
"Coming from a humble background herself she understood the aspirations people have to forge better lives for themselves and their families.
"Many people’s lives were transformed by opportunities she created; for example for the first time tenants were able to buy their council houses and so build up some return from the rent they had paid in for many years.
"It was not for nothing that she was known as the Iron Lady — and together with Ronald Regan and Pope John Paul II she brought about the collapse of communism.
"Of course she also stood firm in 1982 against Argentinian aggression over the Falkland Islands — sending a task force some 8,000 miles around the world to stand up for those British people living so far away.
"I had not seen her for some time, but when I last saw her although her body was frail and she had some difficulty speaking and problems with her memory, her mind was as sharp as ever.
"In 1997 she signed a card wishing me well in my selection interview for the Isle of Wight and it must have brought me luck."
Baroness Thatcher, who was aged 87, visited the Island in 1983, in support of a failed election campaign by Seaview homeowner and Isle of Wight general election candidate Baroness Virginia Bottomley of Nettlestone.
In 2011, following the release of a biopic film of Baroness Thatcher, Baroness Bottomley — who eventually served as a member of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet — told the Daily Mail: "The day before the election Margaret made her dramatic to help me in my campaign. A year after the conflict in the Falkland Islands, this seemed symbolic of her determination to take the Isle of Wight too.
"Although the Conservatives regained power at the election, I did not get elected. The following day, although Margaret must have had so much to do, forming a new cabinet, she still found time to phone me and commiserate."