From London

We have this:

The Queen was said to be “deeply saddened”, and Lady Thatcher hailed Mr Reagan as a hero. The former prime minister said: “President Reagan was one of my closest political and dearest personal friends.

“He will be missed not only by those who knew him and not only by the nation that he served so proudly and loved so deeply, but also by millions of men and women who live in freedom today because of the policies he pursued. Ronald Reagan had a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War for liberty, and he did it without a shot being fired.

“To have achieved so much against so many odds and with such humour and humanity made him a truly great American hero.”

The enduring friendship – both political and personal – between Mr Reagan and Lady Thatcher elevated the Anglo-US “special relationship” to new heights. She steered him at the elbow when he needed it and protected him from reporters when she believed he was in trouble.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister heard with sadness of the death of President Reagan.

“He has written to both President Bush and Nancy Reagan to offer his condolences. President Reagan will be remembered as a great friend of Britain. At home, his vision and leadership restored national self-confidence.”

Michael Howard, the Conservative leader, said: “This is an enormously sad day. President Reagan was one of the towering figures of our time, and the man who, with Margaret Thatcher, won the Cold War for the West.

He added: “We, in Great Britain, as in so many other places around the world, owe him an everlasting debt.”

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Erick Erickson

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