Thatcher's economic stance allowed Branson to grow his empire (Getty).
On the eve of her funeral, Sir Richard Branson has conceded that he wouldn’t be the billionaire he is today without Margaret Thatcher.
Branson, who founded the Virgin record label in 1972 and is now the head of over 400 Virgin companies worldwide, told Britain’s Daily Mail: "She laid the ground for entrepreneurs like me to get going and help transform the rail network and British aviation.
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She appreciated what I was doing. We would not have flown from Heathrow were it not for Mrs Thatcher believing in competition and opening it up."
While Branson and the Iron Lady may not have seen eye to eye on social issues, they shared a common view on the economy.
"On social matters, she was not necessarily my cup of tea," he said.
"But she realised that you can't deal with social problems if the economic side is not working. Getting the economy going was the first step to getting the social side sorted" the Daily Mail reported.
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Branson — who is worth a staggering $4.2 billion and is officially the fourth richest person in the UK — was given the bizarre moniker of 'Litter Tsar' by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and was tasked with 'keeping Britain tidy'.
Baroness Thatcher died in London last week after suffering a stroke. She was 87.