IN a week that has seen much political turmoil, it has us casting our minds back to this time in 1990 when Margaret Thatcher was forced to stand down as Prime Minister.

Just 24 hours before November 22 1990, she had won the first round of elections for leader of the party but her own Cabinet refused to back her in a second round of leadership elections forcing her to resign after nearly 11 years as PM.

We have two pictures here of the late Mrs Thatcher with former West Dorset MP Sir James Spicer, who had a long and close relationship with her.

When Mrs Thatcher died in April 2013 Mr Spicer paid tribute to her. Sir James died on March 21, 2015.

He said: "History, quite rightly, looks upon the 80s as ‘the Thatcher years’ and is absolutely true that she became the leader whom everyone wanted to meet.”

He saw Mrs Thatcher on the day she became leader of the Conservative Party in February, 1975.

He said: “I met her in Westminster Hall and said ‘I suppose that this will mean that you won’t be able to come to Conservative Group for Europe drinks party tonight or to Beaminster for the Women’s Rally, in ten days time?’ ‘Of course, I will do both,’ she said and indeed she did.

“My most happy memory was of her visit to Beaminster. What had originally been planned, as a smallish meeting became a frantically over-subscribed mass meeting in Beaminster School.”

He remembers entertaining her at his home and offering her smoked salmon sandwiches and whisky and leaving her with a smoking fire.

“We all chatted awhile, then she asked for 15 minutes to study her speech. We all left her and shut the door. After a little while we returned to see if she was all right. We found her in a haze of smoke – bravely saying ‘these lovely country fires!’”