MPs gather in Parliament to commemorate Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

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MPs and peers will pay their respects to Margaret Thatcher when Parliament is specially reconvened today at 2.30pm.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said it was right to commemorate a ‘historic’ leader.

Prime Minister David Cameron will lead the tributes in the Commons, with Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also due to speak.

Mr Miliband has told his MPs they are free to criticise Baroness Thatcher, but must do so in a “respectful” way and he has “urged” his frontbench to attend the debate.

Grantham Museum will show the funeral live on television next Wednesday. The funeral will involve hundreds of service personnel and a gun salute, with the ceremony in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral following a procession from Westminster.

More than 700 armed forces personnel will be involved in lining the route, including three bands whose drums will be covered in black cloth. A gun salute will be fired from the Tower of London and the coffin will be carried into St Paul’s by service personnel from regiments and ships closely associated with the Falklands campaign.

The Queen and world leaders will attend the funeral.