DAME CHERYL GILLAN, who served as Secretary of State for Wales in David Cameron’s government, has died after ‘a long-term illness’.

Her death was announced on Easter Monday’s afternoon.

Cheryl Gillan was elected to the House of Commons in 1992 and became a junior minister for Education and Employment in John Major’s government.

After 1997, she served as a Conservative whip and as a spokesperson for Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs.

She was the Shadow Welsh Secretary from 2005 to 2010.

After the 2010 General Election, she took up the post of Secretary of State for Wales until a reshuffle in September 2012.

Her appointment as Secretary of State was controversial as she represented a seat in England (Chesham and Amersham).

She was awarded a damehood in the 2018 New Year Honours.

During her period as Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan oversaw the 2011 referendum that granted the then-Welsh Assembly more powers and established the Silk Commission on devolution’s future in Wales.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said “I’m desperately saddened to hear that Dame Cheryl Gillan MP has passed away.

“Cheryl was a model of public service and was respected across the political spectrum.

“She was incredibly proud of her Welsh roots and served with distinction as Secretary of State.

“Cherly was a good friend to the Welsh Conservatives and will be sorely missed.

“On behalf of my colleagues, I send our thoughts and condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.”