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Britain’s Thatcher leaves hospital

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By SAPA

London - Britain's former prime minister Margaret Thatcher has left hospital after successful bladder surgery, British media have reported.

The BBC and Sky News television said the 87-year-old was discharged on Saturday, citing sources close to the former premier, but her spokeswoman did not immediately return calls on Sunday seeking confirmation.

The former premier, who led Britain from 1979 to 1990, was admitted to hospital on December 20 for a minor operation to remove a growth from her bladder.

The former Conservative Party leader remains the only female premier in British history.

Media said Thatcher was “convalescing privately” after ten days of treatment at an undisclosed hospital. Her west London home appeared to be empty at the weekend, AFP photographers said.

Public relations executive Tim Bell, who advised the “Iron Lady” for her three general election victories, said last week that the surgery had been “minimally invasive” and that Thatcher's daughter Carol had been at her side.

He told AFP on Saturday that he was abroad and could not confirm reports that she had left hospital.

Thatcher - the 20th century's longest continuous occupant of 10 Downing Street - suffers from dementia and has appeared rarely in public in recent years.

Her daughter once revealed that the former premier had to be repeatedly reminded that her husband Denis had died in 2003.

She was told by doctors to quit public speaking a decade ago after a series of minor strokes. - Sapa-AFP

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