The Prime Minister has paid tribute to the former Welsh Secretary, who has died after a long illness.

Dame Cheryl Gillan MP was Secretary of State for Wales under David Cameron's coalition Government between 2010 and 2012, having been Shadow Secretary for five years in opposition.

Born in Cardiff, she was the Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire up until her death. She was 68.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Dame Cheryl as a “great servant”.

“I’m very sad to hear the news of the death of Dame Cheryl Gillan,” said Mr Johnson.

“She was a great servant to the people of Chesham and Amersham, to the Conservative Party and to the country as secretary of state for Wales.

“Always full of wise advice and good humour, she was much loved on all sides of the House of Commons and will be sorely missed.

“My sincere condolences to her family and friends.”

Amanda Milling MP, co-chairman of the Conservative Party, said: “It was incredibly sad to hear that Dame Cheryl Gillan MP passed away at the weekend.

“Cheryl had been ill for some time, but battled her illness with great stoicism and grace.

“Cheryl was a dedicated parliamentarian for many decades, serving in the Cabinet and she made a huge contribution to public life and our party.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Cheryl’s family and friends.”