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Thatcher supporters set up camp ahead of funeral

Danny Jones and his son Jordan came from Liverpool and are willing to stay outside for the night ahead of tomorrow’s ceremonies.

A NUMBER OF people have set up camp at St Paul’s Cathedral to ensure they have a prime viewing spot for the funeral of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher tomorrow.

About 2,000 guests are expected for the memorial in the morning. Among the Irish contingent will be Education Minister Ruairí Quinn.

The 87-year-old, who died from a stroke on 8 April, is to be given a ceremonial funeral with military honours – one step down from a full state funeral. A full dress rehearsal for the events took place on Monday. Thatcher’s coffin is expected to leave Westminster tomorrow morning before being transferred to a gun carriage at St Clements Dance Church.

The service is due to begin at the London cathedral at 11am.

(Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

John Loughrey, pictured above, told the Daily Telegraph that Britain was living in the dark ages when Thatcher brought the country “into the light”.

“She made Britain what it is today, she made Britain Great again. She is an icon and she will always be remembered, even in 500 years time.”

(Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Danny Jones and his son Jordan came from Liverpool and are willing to stay outside for the night ahead of tomorrow’s ceremonies.

The former leader’s coffin was brought to the House of Parliament today, dressed in a British flag and a large bouquet of white flowers with a card reading “Beloved Mother – Always in our hearts”.

At her request, Thatcher’s remains will remain in parliament until the funeral service. The coffin was taken to the 13th-century Chapel of St Mary Undercroft crypt to rest overnight.

(Image: PA Video)

A short ceremony was held to receive the body at the crypt and it was attended by around 100 people, including her twin children Mark and Carol. The House of Commons speaker John Bercow, senior parliamentarians, plus lawmakers and staff who worked closely with the former premier were also present.

As a mark of respect, the bell of Big Ben will be silenced for all proceedings in the morning. Bercow said he believes “profound dignity and respect can be expressed in and through silence”. The honour was last bestowed on wartime prime minister Winston Churchill in 1965.

Police are expecting protests tomorrow and security gates and concrete gantries have been set up. More than 4,000 police officers will be on duty, amid fears that far-left activists could seek to disrupt the procession.

“We have been approached by a small number of people planning to protest,” said police Commander Christine Jones. “Should the need arise to arrest those who are committing acts of crime or violence, or conspiring to do so, we will respond accordingly.”

-Additional reporting by AFP

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