Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, (1925–2013) was a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who served from 1979 to 1990.
After working as a research chemist she qualified for the bar in 1953. Having sought a seat since 1951 she was selected for Finchley in 1958 and elected to Parliament in the 1959 election. In 1961 she was promoted to the front bench as a Parliamentary Undersecretary. When the Tories returned to power in 1970 she was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Science, in which role she stopped free school milk – ‘Margret Thatcher, milk snatcher’. When the Tories lost the 1974 election she challenged Edward Heath for the leadership and defeated him.
In 1979 she she became Prime Minister, in which role she became famous for: her close alignment with the USA in the Cold War; her role in the Falklands confict; her conflict with ‘Europe’; the Poll Tax; the privatisation of public services; and her disputes with the trade unions.
She survived a leadership challenge in 1989 but was ousted as a result of a second challenge in 1990. She remained an MP until the 1992 election.
If asked to name a female British politician and most people would probably answer Margaret Thatcher.