Margaret Thatcher Dead: Rupert Murdoch Praises 'Brave' Premier

Rupert Murdoch has praised the "brave leadership" of Margaret Thatcher, claiming Britain is "far more successful" as a result of her premiership.

In an opinion column in Wednesday's Times newspaper, the controversial tycoon praised Baroness Thatcher's role in facing down the trade unions in the 1980s.

Mrs Thatcher receiving a humanitarian award from Rupert Murdoch in 1991

He said the government made it possible for News International to survive a year of industrial action fighting against a move of operations to Wapping, East London.

Mr Murdoch said: "Mrs Thatcher understood that risk was a vital ingredient in a free enterprise society. She understood that such a society had to be led by a government with backbone.

"After the Second World War, in which the country lost a second generation of its finest men, Britain had created a dependency state. It killed off aspiration.

"In 1979 Margaret Thatcher set about its rehabilitation. She put the economy on a sound footing, she ended a culture of crippling strikes, she encouraged entrepreneurs to come here and set up their businesses.

"Thanks to her I have experienced in Britain many of my defining moments as a businessman, a Britain that is far more successful as a result of her brave leadership."

The News International boss said Lady Thatcher was a "risk taker" who "believed in doing the right thing".

He said he had been "inspired" by her leadership during his business life.