The new compendium features over 100 women Hillary Clinton and Chelsea whittled down as being their top choices for the world’s “gutsiest” women.

Included in the list were some true heroines such as Marie Curie, the scientist who discovered radioactivity and teenage environmental activitist Greta Thunberg.

But there was a huge omission in the form of Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the UK, and it’s caused controversy as many have insisted regardless of views, the trailblazing politician was one of the “gutsiest” of women ever born.

In a BBC Radio 5 interview, Hillary responded to queries over hers and her daughter Chelsea’s decision to leave the former PM out of the list.

“Surely she comes to mind with gutsy women, even if you didn’t like her?” host Emma Barnett asked Clinton.

Clinton lost the American election for president of the United States in 2016 to Donald Trump.

If she’d won the race, Clinton would have been awarded the position of first female president of the United States, but said said that she didn’t believe Thatcher was a good fit for the book’s criteria.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton blasted for excluding Margaret Thatcher from book 

“She does, but she doesn’t fit the other part of the definition in our opinion, which is really knocking down barriers for others and trying to make a positive difference,” Clinton said.

“I think the record is mixed with her.”

Thatcher was the daughter of a greengrocer and won three national elections after her first seat in 1979.

The Conservative politician was nicknamed “The Iron Lady” and resigned from government in 1990, before dying in 2013, at the age of 87.

Clinton insisted she thought Thatcher had been “incredibly strong”, but it wasn’t enough to include her in the book.

She explained: “I think on the criterion that we were really looking at: ‘Okay, what were the positive differences, the changes this person made that really opened the doors to more?’ That wasn’t really that apparent.”

But listeners were puzzled by the former presidential candidate’s comments, and slated her reasons.

“Ridiculous reason about Thatcher. Love her or hate her, she became the first British PM and that in itself broke down all sorts of walls and gave hope to women who didn’t think achieving such a position was possible,” one person tweeted.

Others shared their praise for the collection, with one person saying: “’The Book of Gutsy Women’ is a collection of stories compiled by Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea. These tales celebrate the women who made history yet are often overshadowed, in the popular narrative, by men’s achievements. Inspire the young women in your life!”

“@HillaryClinton I was lucky enough that someone gifted a copy of The Book of Gutsy Women. I want to thank you and @ChelseaClinton for this extraordinary compendium of important women. This is a book to be savoured,” another said.

In response to the book shooting to the top of the most read lists, Clinton thanked her fans and followers on Twitter, as she enthused: “Thank you to all the readers who helped put ‘The Book of Gutsy Women’ at the top of the list! @ChelseaClinton and I are so thrilled to share these women’s stories with you.”

The Graham Norton Show airs tonight at 10.40pm on BBC One.

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