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Lord Gilmour, 81; British lawmaker was critical of Margaret Thatcher

September 26, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Lord Gilmour, 81, a Conservative lawmaker who was a thorn in the side of Margaret Thatcher when she served as Britain's prime minister, died Friday in West Middlesex Hospital, west of London, after a short illness, according to his son David Gilmour.

While holding the Cabinet-level post of deputy foreign secretary, Ian Gilmour was fired by Thatcher in 1981 after he warned that her hard-line tactics would lose voters' support.

He then declared that Thatcher was steering "full speed ahead for the rocks," and for his next 11 years in the House of Commons he relentlessly attacked her dismantling of the welfare state.

A graduate of Eton and of Oxford's Balliol College, he was editor and proprietor of the Spectator magazine from 1954 to 1959 before his election to Parliament in 1967.

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