15:49 Wednesday 17 April 2013

MPs in 'moving' farewell to Tory legend Thatcher

Written byADRIAN JENKINS

CONSERVATIVE MPs who attended Baroness Thatcher’s funeral have told how ‘moved’ they were by the service.

Andrew Griffiths, Andrew Bridgen and Heather Wheeler, who represent Burton, North West Leicestershire and South Derbyshire respectively, spoke after joining more than 2,300 mourners, including the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, at the ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Mr Griffiths said: “It was incredibly moving and dignified. In death, as in life, Lady Thatcher (pictured right) showed she had class.

“It was particularly emotional when, as the choristers were singing in the background and the servicemen took the coffin out of St Paul’s and into the open air, there was a shout of ‘three cheers for Mrs Thatcher!’.

“The cheers filtered into St Paul’s and there were a number of people with tears in their eyes.”

Mr Griffiths said the service, conducted by the Bishop of London, Right Reverend Richard Chartres, exemplified the pomp and circumstance ‘the country does so well’.

“Those pictures will be beamed around the world and will once again paint a very vivid picture about what’s great about Great Britain,” he said.

Mr Bridgen said the ‘moving’ ceremony proved both sad and celebratory.

“Lady Thatcher is sometimes seen as a Marmite politician – people love her or hate her – but it felt very uniting in that service,” he said.

“There were people from all political parties and all walks of life celebrating a life of great political achievement.

“It was the very best of British culture and tradition.”

In common with her fellow MPs, Mrs Wheeler highlighted the role played by mourners who paid their respects by lining the route taken by Lady Thatcher’s coffin to the cathedral.

“The crowds were fantastic and I was so pleased it was a really good-natured, civilised send-off,” she said.

Mrs Wheeler said she had a good view of the ‘very moving’ funeral service from her seat in St Paul’s north transept.

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