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Borders MSP hits out at Thatcher debate plans

A Borders politician has hit out at plans to hold a debate on Margaret Thatcher at Holyrood on the day of her funeral.

Tory MSP John Lamont says the timing has been designed to cause upset and offence.

But the Scottish Green party, who called the debate on Wednesday, say it's important to discuss the impact of the Thatcher years on Scotland.

Scottish Parliament to debate Thatcher legacy

The Scottish Parliament will debate the legacy of Baroness Thatcher on the day of her funeral.

The Green-Independent group have set aside allotted time in parliament on Wednesday to debate and are calling for all MSPs to participate.

The proposed title is 'There is still such a thing as society'.

"Margaret Thatcher has died, but the tragedy for huge numbers of people is that Thatcherism as an ideology still lives. We aim to encourage honest consideration of the legacy of Thatcherism, the core elements of which - competition and selfishness - continue to affect our society and our economy.

"There are those on both sides of the independence divide who oppose the values of Thatcherism; they will need to find ways to work together after the referendum, whatever the result."

– Green leader Patrick Harvie

"We will be contesting the timing of this motion which seems to have been designed to cause the most upset and controversy.

"The Scottish Conservatives will have no problem partaking in this debate when it arrives. But we believe the Greens should reconsider whether their own narrow-minded agenda is more important than the funeral of one of the UK's finest-ever leaders."

– Borders Conservative MSP John Lamont

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MPs get reimbursed for travel for Thatcher tributes

Members of Parliament travelling back to the UK from overseas to pay tribute to Baroness Thatcher can claim up to £3,750 in travel expenses, it was confirmed today.

MPs are able to claim for their journeys back following the recall of Parliament during the Easter recess, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) says.

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Baroness Thatcher's funeral set to cost '£10 million'

Tributes have been left outside the home of Baroness Thatcher in Belgravia. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The funeral of Baroness Thatcher, which is being planned by a special Cabinet Office committee under the name ‘Operation True Blue’, will reportedly cost around £10 million.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude yesterday said MoD, the police, Number 10, Parliamentary authorities, the Thatcher family and the Conservative Party were in involved in planning the ceremony.

It will be the biggest security operation since the Olympics, according to The Sun, as fears mount that protestors could attempt to disrupt proceedings.

The Guardian says the threat of Irish republic terrorists are under the spotlight.

The Independent reports that social media and internet forums are being monitored for potential troublemakers.

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Barack Obama: 'America has lost a true friend'

With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.

As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.

As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best.

And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.

Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will.

Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.

– President Barack Obama

Local reaction to Thatcher death

People from Cumrbia and southern Scotland have been sharing their thoughts on former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died this morning following a stroke.

"I am a child of the Thatcher years and proud of it.

"Yes there was conflict with the unions over change as the nation moved from manufacturing based industry to a service based economy but if Mrs Thatcher had not been in office there is a chance that the USSR and USA may never have got around the table, the Berlin wall may have never fallen and at some point over the last 30 years the world could have been thrown into nuclear war.

"This nation and the world has a debt of respect to pay the Iron Lady RIP Mrs T."

– Jonathon Davies, Penrith, Cumbria

"Nothing has changed politically in the world today. The only thing that has changed is that a family have lost their mother and their grandmother."

– Michael Grieve, Hawick, Scottish Borders

"Like any Prime Minister, she had her successes and failures. That's human nature.

"No one should take joy at the death of a person who was elected many times by the people of Great Britain."

– Stuart Clement, Dumfries and Galloway

Scottish Lib Dems leader pays tribute to Thatcher

"Like many of my contemporaries I am in politics because of Margaret Thatcher.

"Although I did not share her political outlook, as our first female Prime Minister she changed the face of our political system forever.

"While in many respects she was divisive, Margaret Thatcher was undoubtedly the leading political figure of her generation.

"Her impact on British politics and our country was substantial and enduring."

– Willie Rennie, Leader, Scottish Liberal Democrats
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