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Margaret Tebbit obituary

Nurse and wife of the Conservative minister Norman Tebbit who was seriously injured in the Brighton Grand hotel bombing in 1984

It was a measure of the extraordinary strength of the character of Margaret Tebbit, who has died aged 86, that, despite the almost total paralysis she suffered as a result of terrible injuries sustained in the IRA bombing of the Grand hotel in Brighton in 1984, she considered herself lucky to be alive. Although left paralysed from the neck down and able to move only one thumb, she was grateful that she and her husband, Norman Tebbit, the Conservative politician, had survived. “I’m lucky to be here and I’ve got a life which was worth keeping,” she said.

She spent two years in hospital following the IRA attack on the British government during the Conservative party conference in October 1984. She fell through four floors and was trapped under the ruins of the hotel for four hours. Five people were killed and she and her husband, then the trade and industry secretary, were among 31 injured. It would be a long time before she would speak of this experience, having endured the long, slow and painful process of rebuilding a different sort of life for herself, but when she did so, she offered a remarkable revelation of her attitude to her physical disability.

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