I first met Baroness Thatcher at Stringfellows, for a Conservative fundraiser I hosted in 2005.
It was a Sunday night and none of our dancers were performing. I had been told by the organisers that it would be a good idea not to have the dancers there. But Lady Thatcher had a surprise in store.
In the middle of the evening, she looked me directly in the eye and asked: "Where are your girls?"
I replied: "Ma'am, they are not here tonight as it is a special, fundraising evening."
She replied: "What a pity." We fell about laughing.
Even though her health was beginning to fade, she managed to speak to all of the 360 guests.
At the end of the night when all of the politicians and celebrities were heading home, she was leaving up the stairs with her entourage and I wished her a very good evening. She smiled and blew me a kiss!
And as far as I'm concerned, the only thing that beats that is if I tell you I shook hands with Sir Winston Churchill which, of course, I never did.
This was the first time she met my wife Bella and she charmed us both. Bella and I had the good fortune to enjoy Lady Thatcher's company on many occasions after this event, most notably, at Jeffrey Archer's Christmas parties where she held court and entertained everybody just by her sheer presence.
And on one occasion, she asked me: "When are you going to marry this beautiful lady?"
The next time I met her, I said: "Ma'am, I took your advice and she is now Mrs Bella Stringfellow." And she smiled.
She epitomised inspiration and aspiration when she came to office and brought down the top income tax rate the Labour government had left at 98% down to 40%. And she slashed corporate income tax rate down from 52% to 35%. That's when the economy started to improve.
Lady Thatcher proved that lower taxes means a healthy and vibrant economy, which is something that even today, Labour and Liberals don't understand. And that's why they are constantly harping on about the extra 5% on high income tax-payers and mansion tax. Both are divisive and wrong and Margaret Thatcher knew this.
She was a huge inspiration to me when I first came to London. We lost an exceptional Lady on Monday and will never see the like of her again.
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