Newt Gingrich, Republican Ex-Congressman, Invited To Margaret Thatcher's Funeral

The former Republican leader of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, has been invited to attend Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

The conservative former congressman who was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 is a big fan of the former Tory prime minister.

Following news of her death on Monday, Gingrich said he could not remember an occasion over a 20-year period where being with her "failed to instruct, inspire and educate".

"The Thatcher victory of 1979 was very important to the American Conservative movement and to the Republican Party," he said. "Much of our 1980 effort was inspired and based upon the Thatcher effort a year earlier."

He added: "The world would have been very different without Margaret Thatcher. Every citizen can learn from her condemnation of socialism and her critique of big government. Every political leader can learn from her courage."

Gingrich lost out to Mitt Romney in the battle to challenge president Obama for the White House. He told The Huffington Post after Romney's defeat in November that he would have "probably done better" against Obama than Romney had.

Speaking at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, Gingrich said the Republican establishment was "trapped in the age of candles" and that the Obama administration wanted to "redistribute the candle wealth".

Other Americans invited to the funeral at St Paul's Cathedral in London on Wednesday include all living former US presidents as well as former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and a representative of the Reagan family.