BRADFORD right-to-die campaigner Debbie Purdy died of natural causes, it emerged today.

The Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford, where the multiple sclerosis sufferer had been cared for since December last year after her health sharply deteriorated, yesterday confirmed only that she had died.

But a family source today said: “The doctor believes she died of MS, not that she died of stopping eating, self neglect or starvation.”

And a Bradford Coroner's office spokesman today confirmed there would be no inquest into the death of Miss Purdy and that she died of natural causes.

Yesterday, her MP David Ward had said the "irony" was that after fighting to protect her musician husband Omar Puente from possible prosecution for assisting her suicide at the Dignitias clinic in Switzerland she had ended her life by not eating.

Campaign group Dignity in Dying also said she had chosen to "hasten her death by stopping eating".

Tributes have poured in following the death of Miss Purdy, 51, of Undercliffe, who had been reported previously as saying her intention was to end her life by refusing food and drink when she was admitted to the hospice in December last year.

Earlier this year she had told the BBC: "It's been so much more difficult than I thought it would be.

"It's a lot more painful than I thought and Marie Curie aren't prepared to make it easy for me.

"They are prepared to support me and help me with pain medication and so on.

"But if I give in at any point and say 'I want something to eat or drink',  they're not prepared to not give me food or drink and that means I've got to be a lot stronger and more motivated.

"One weak moment can put me back a week."

Mr Puente yesterday issued a statement to the BBC saying: "We would like to thank the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford for the care the staff gave her, which allowed her last year to be as peaceful and dignified as she wished."

Paying tribute to Miss Purdy, Mr Ward (Lib Dem, Bradford East) added: "She was a remarkable character and anyone who came across her would have been inspired by her.

"Despite her terrible condition, which came as a shock to a vibrant young woman, she had tremendous determination stemming from her great love for Omar and her desperate attempt to protect him from prosecution if he assisted her.

"She was determined she wanted quality of life and wanted to pick the right time."

Her campaign led to a ruling in the House of Lords in 2009 which resulted in guidelines on assisted suicide being published by the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC.

Mr Starmer said the motives of those assisting suicide would be at the centre of the decision over whether they should be prosecuted.

In 2010 she told an inquiry on assisted dying that if she had not won the backing of the Law Lords she would have gone to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to end her own life as her condition was deteriorating.

She had argued that it would be a breach of her human rights if she did not know whether her husband would be prosecuted if he travelled with her to the Swiss clinic.

Campaign group Dignity in Dying expressed sadness over Miss Purdy's death, describing her as a "valued campaigner and friend".

Chief executive Sarah Wootton said: "Debbie wanted choice and control over her death should she consider her suffering unbearable.

"Ultimately she was seeking peace of mind that her wishes would be respected, but also crucially that her decisions would not result in the potential imprisonment of her husband.

"She rejected the option of travelling abroad to die, and instead, wanting to die in this country, chose to hasten her death by stopping eating.

"Debbie rallied against the hypocrisy of the current law, which turns a blind eye to people travelling abroad to die, while seeking to protect them by threatening the imprisonment of their loved ones after their death.

"For over a decade Debbie was a huge presence at Dignity in Dying; from stuffing envelopes to leading her legal challenge, she was an integral part of the campaign and a friend. We will miss her greatly."