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Twitter mix-up over Maggie

Unconfirmed reports that The Iron Lady had passed away had #Margaret Thatcher trending on social media last night

In fact, a Margaret Thatcher had died – but she was identified as a 61-year-old from Portland, Oregon, who had been involved in a car crash on Tuesday. The news had the twittersphere gripped, before an article from The Oregonian solved the mystery.

The former British Prime Minister has been suffering from continued ill health after a series of minor strokes in the early 2000’s and is rarely seen in public. Her health has deteriorated so far that she was unable to attend an 85th birthday party held in her honour by David Cameron at 10 Downing Street last October.

Elected as the first female British PM in 1979, Thatcher continually polarised opinion and critics throughout her career – from her reform of Britain’s trade unions to her contribution to changing women’s rights.

Her legacy within British politics is also set to be revived following the release of The Iron Lady in January 2012, a biopic of the politician’s life directed by Phyllida Lloyd and starring Meryl Streep.

Words by Dipal Acharya