David Cameron has branded some reaction to the death of Baroness Thatcher as “pretty distasteful”.
The Prime Minister said he thought the majority of national feeling was to grieve for the loss of a great leader, but conceded that sections of society did not agree.
Asked if he was disappointed about animosity towards the former prime minister, he said: “I think the overwhelming sense across the country, and you can see it yesterday in the House of Commons, is that we are mourning the loss of someone who gave a huge amount to this country, that was an extraordinary leader. I think that is how the overwhelming majority of people feel.
“Of course, some people won’t agree with that but I think that some of the scenes we have seen are frankly pretty distasteful, but people should be responsible for themselves.”
Mr Cameron said Lady Thatcher’s upbringing in Grantham, where her father was a grocer, contributed to her hard-work ethic in power.
“I think there was a really strong link between her upbringing, her values, and her action.
“I think you can sum up what she believed in – sound money, strong defence, don’t spend what you haven’t got – those strong values came from her upbringing and she applied them to the government of our country at a time when we really needed it.
“I think that was part of her success.”
Mr Cameron made his comments during a visit to Rolls-Royce in Derby.
During the hour-long visit, the Prime Minister toured the apprentice academy and chatted with young people working there.
Part of the learning the apprentices undertake at the site is on a Trent 1000 engine, which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Later during a visit to energy firm E.ON in Coventry, Mr Cameron commented on how the energy market had changed since the period of “monopoly” when Lady Thatcher was in power.
Mr Cameron said it was “a world away” from the market in place now.
Addressing some 400 E.ON staff at the firm’s offices in Westwood Business Park, the Conservative leader said: “We had one monopoly producer of every single penny piece of electricity in the whole country and we had monopoly suppliers locally.”