British ex-premier Thatcher leaves hospital

1st November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher left hospital on Monday, nearly two weeks after being admitted with flu.

Thatcher, 85, looked unsteady and had to be supported by two people but waved and smiled for photographers in a brief public appearance after returning to her central London home.

The former premier, nicknamed the Iron Lady, was admitted to hospital in west London on October 19 for tests after failing to shake off a bout of flu.

She has previously suffered a series of minor strokes and has dementia.

Lord Tim Bell, who worked as an advisor to Thatcher during her premiership, told AFP that after her release she was "going to go home and rest and recuperate."

Thatcher, who held power at the head of a Conservative government from 1979 to 1990, was forced to miss a planned birthday party at Downing Street on October 14 because of her illness.

Prime Minister David Cameron, also a Conservative, sent his "warmest wishes" to his predecessor for her return home, his spokeswoman said.

Thatcher was the longest continuously serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the only woman to be premier.

She was voted most influential woman in a poll ahead of the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey in an AOL UK/YouGov poll of more than 2,000 women published Monday.

© 2010 AFP

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