Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 12:56 UK

PM 'saddened' by Tomlinson death

Jane Tomlinson
Mrs Tomlinson "fought a fight of Olympian proportions"

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he is "saddened" by the death of Jane Tomlinson following her seven-year battle with cancer.

He paid tribute to the charity fund-raiser's "amazing spirit and strength" following her death on Monday at the age of 43.

The married mother-of-three died at St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds.

She was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2000 and told she had just six months to live.

'Beam of light'

Tributes for Mrs Tomlinson poured in following the announcement of her death on Tuesday. Councillor Keith Wakefield, Labour group leader for Leeds City Council, described her as an inspiring, brave and determined woman.

She has left us with a legacy of courage when faced with difficulty, of striving for others despite one's own important needs
Bishop of Leeds, Right Reverand Arthur Roche

He said: "She was an inspiration to millions of people, particularly women who are fighting cancer.

"The millions of pounds she raised for charity was a testament to her amazing bravery and determination.

"Our thoughts are with her husband and children."

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Leeds, the Right Reverend Arthur Roche, described Mrs Tomlinson's battle with cancer as "Olympian".

He said: "She was a bright beam of light in the midst of a darkness that can so often accompany a terminal illness.

"She fought a very brave fight, of Olympian proportions, right to the end of her earthly life and has left us a legacy of courage when faced with difficulty; of striving for others despite one's own important needs."

Mr Roche said her family's love and support had made the "unthinkable possible".

He said: "Her memory will live on in this city and what she bore so bravely will continue to benefit and influence those who face their own mortality to do so with courage and calmness."

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