By Tim Montgomerie
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Beneath the new statue of Ronald Reagan in Grosvenor Square, London: Liam Fox, Defence Secretary; Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary; Alan Duncan, International Development Minister; Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State; George Osborne, Chancellor; William Hague, Foreign Secretary; Iain Duncan Smith, Welfare Secretary.
"On behalf of the British Government on this moving occasion, as a Briton, as a Conservative and as a passionate admirer of America, I am proud that we have made a home here in the centre of our city for President Ronald Reagan. It is a great honour for me personally to take part in a ceremony for a man who changed the political landscape at the time I first became involved in it He joins the ranks of great men and women whose statues adorn our London streets; Nelson, Wellington, Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt, Edith Cavell and Nelson Mandela. Statues bring us to face to face with our heroes long after they are gone. Ronald Reagan is without question a great American hero; one of America’s finest sons, and a giant of 20th Century history. You may be sure that the people of London will take his statue to their hearts."
He went on to read this message from Margaret Thatcher who, sadly, was unable to be present:
“Ronald Reagan was a great President and a great man - a true leader for our times. He held clear principles and acted upon them with purpose. Through his strength and his conviction he brought millions of people to freedom as the Iron Curtain finally came down. It was a pleasure to be his colleague and his friend and I hope that this statue will be a reminder to future generations of the debt we owe him.”
Etched into the bronze base of the statue, created by Chas Fagan of North Carolina, are, very appropriately, words from Margaret Thatcher:
"Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot."
David Cameron is overseas and was therefore unable to attend.
Former US Ambassador to the Court of St James, Robert H Tuttle.
Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan talks to the media.
THE GALLERY BELOW CAPTURES SOME OF THE SENIOR CONSERVATIVES (AND CONSERVATIVE ENTHUSIASTS) WHO ATTENDED THE EVENT.
Tory MPs Damian Green, Michael Fallon and David Davis.
Tory MPs Michael Ellis, Nigel Evans, Bill Cash and Conor Burns.
Cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Eric Pickles.
John Whittingdale (wearing a tie with the word "Reagan" written repeatedly across it) and Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee.
Victoria Borwick of the GLA; Mark Worthington from Lady Thatcher's office; former Thatcher speechwriter John O'Sullivan; Gerald Howarth MP; and Nick Wood of Media Intelligence Partners.
Mark Menzies MP and Andrew Rosindell waving US and UK flags with former Tory leader, Michael Howard, in the second row.
Gerald Howarth MP (again!) and former Chancellor, Lord Lamont.
Greg Hands MP and Christopher Chope MP with his wife, Christo.
David Amess MP, Julia Manning of 2020Health and Julian Lewis MP.
Tim Montgomerie of this parish with Julia Manning (again).
And finally... Alex Deane with Stars and Stripes in briefcase looks back at the Reagan statue as he leaves the ceremony.