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Former Thatcher ‘spin doctor’ Tim Bell dies at age 77

August 26, 2019
FILE - In this file photo dated May 4, 1979, Britain's Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher waves to wellwishers outside 10 Downing Street, with her husband Denis, right, after leading her party to victory in the General Election and becoming the country's first woman Prime Minister. The Public relations expert, Tim Bell, who is widely credited for the campaign that helped in the election of Thatcher in 1979, died Sunday after a long illness, according to a statement released Monday Aug. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Bob Dear, FILE)
FILE - In this file photo dated May 4, 1979, Britain's Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher waves to wellwishers outside 10 Downing Street, with her husband Denis, right, after leading her party to victory in the General Election and becoming the country's first woman Prime Minister. The Public relations expert, Tim Bell, who is widely credited for the campaign that helped in the election of Thatcher in 1979, died Sunday after a long illness, according to a statement released Monday Aug. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Bob Dear, FILE)

LONDON (AP) — Tim Bell, a public relations expert credited with helping former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher win office in 1979, has died at age 77.

Friend and former business partner Piers Pottinger said in a statement Monday that Bell died on Sunday surrounded by his family after a long illness.

Bell was involved in the Conservative Party’s election campaigns in 1979, 1983 and 1987. He was responsible for a famous campaign slogan, “Labour isn’t working,” in 1978 which attacked the Labour Party’s employment record. Thatcher’s Conservatives won office in 1979.

The Bell Pottinger PR company went into administration in 2017 after having been found by an industry watchdog to have run a “racially divisive” campaign in South Africa.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

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