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Ex-UK PM Thatcher suffers stroke

Thatcher: Three time general election winner
Thatcher: Three time general election winner  

LONDON (CNN) -- Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher suffered a minor stroke over the holidays, but has made a full recovery, a spokesman said Saturday.

Mark Worthington of the Thatcher Foundation said Thatcher, 76, was treated and released from a hospital in Portugal, where she was on vacation, after undergoing tests.

After the stroke, she returned to her holiday and has since resumed her normal activities in London.

News of Thatcher's mild stroke prompted concern among senior figures in the Conservative Party, including current party leader, Iain Duncan Smith.

A party spokesman told Reuters: "Iain Duncan Smith has spoken to both her and her staff. He was very sorry to hear that she had been ill but delighted that she has made a full recovery."

Elected as Britain's first female prime minister in 1979, Thatcher was forced from office in 1990 after losing support of the Conservative Party over differences on European Union policy.

But that was after winning three general elections -- the only UK prime minister to achieve the hat trick last century - and seeing the word Thatcherism enter the dictionary.

Today, many Conservatives still remember her glory days of power fondly but others are concerned that her shadow is preventing the party from changing.

Europe has remained an issue which divides the party and was one of the major battle grounds during last year's leadership contest held after the Conservative's second crushing general election defeat to Tony Blair's Labour Party.


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