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A nice story that has been running on the international wires has just been picked up by the BBC.

It's about the moment when the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, was told that Lady Thatcher had died.

Harper was at a Toronto dinner commemorating the armed forces when he got the message. There were 1,700 people at the event, and apparently the rumour mill went into overdrive.

The prime minister asked an aide to prepare an official statement and, at that point, someone decided to call Downing Street and Buckingham Palace for confirmation.

But the Brits did not know what the Canadians were on about, and were happy to confirm that Lady Thatcher was still very much alive.

It turns out that Canada's transport minister, a Conservative called John Baird, was to blame. He is a Thatcher fan, and 16 years ago, he named his pet cat after the Iron Lady.

This week, the cat passed away. When he sent out a text message saying "Thatcher has died", someone got the wrong idea.

Still, it says something about (Margaret) Thatcher's appeal. I wonder if there are any politicians around the world with pets named after Tony Blair or Gordon Brown. Anyone know?


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