Former Thatcher 'spin doctor' Tim Bell dies at age 77

Tim Bell, a public relations expert credited with helping former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher win national elections in 1979, has died at age 77

LONDON -- 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.

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.