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LONDON (AP) — Nigel Lawson, the tax-cutting U.K. Treasury chief under the late Margaret Thatcher and a lion of Conservative politics in the late 20th century has died. He was 91.

Lawson, who led the Treasury from 1983 to 1989, spearheaded the drive to place key public sector companies into private control. He also modernized financial markets in what became known as the Big Bang of deregulation, which strengthened London’s position as a global financial hub.

Conservative Party politicians rushed to offer tributes, a reflection of the fact that his policies remain revered. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson described him as a “fearless and original flame of free-market Conservatism.”

“He was a tax-cutter and simplifier who helped transform the economic landscape and helped millions of British people achieve their dreams…he was a giant,” Johnson said.

Lawson, who also worked on the Financial Times and the Sunday Telegraph, had six children, including celebrity food writer Nigella Lawson.

The Telegraph newspaper first reported his death. His family did not immediately comment.