Hemel Hempstead’s MP has expressed his sadness at the news of Margaret Thatcher’s death earlier today.
The Conservative politician, who had met the former Prime Minister several times, said: “She is a part of our nation’s history.
“I just think it is enormously sad for her family.
“I know she had been poorly for some time. I saw her only a few months ago, even though her dementia was quite difficult, she still seem very perky.”
Mr Penning added that it was a comfort to hear that Mrs Thatcher, 87, had passed away peacefully following a stroke.
He said: “She enabled me as a working class lad to get onto the housing ladder, along with tens of thousands of other council house tenants - one of the best things any politician could have done for us.
“Lady Thatcher changed Britain for the better, she had great strength, she was a great politician, a great women and a great Prime Minister.
“To be honest she is why I am a Conservative today.”
A ceremonial funeral with military honours will be held for the politician.