Theresa May leads tributes to 'brilliant' Stephen Hawking after scientist dies
Theresa May has led tributes to the “brilliant and extraordinary” Stephen Hawking after the renowned scientist died aged 76.
The Prime Minister said: “His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration.”
And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to his "breathtaking courage to overcome life's adversities".
Prof Hawking - famous for his work on black holes and relativity - died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.
He was given just a few years to live at the age of 22 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neuron disease - but defied the odds by surviving another half-century.
Mrs May said on Twitter: "Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind - one of the great scientists of his generation.
“His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten.”
Mr Corbyn meanwhile hailed the scientist for his "determination to explain the mysteries of the cosmos" and his passion to protect the NHS.
Other top MPs including Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt - who got into a war of words with the professor last year - and Home Affairs Committee chair Yvette Cooper also paid tribute, as did other political figures.