TRIBUTES have been paid to a passionate young political campaigner and star of The Mighty Redcar TV series following her death at the weekend.

Jade Smith, from Redcar, made headlines across the country after showing off her Boris Johnson leg tattoo on the programme, and was also well known for her support and campaigning for the Conservatives.

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The 21-year-old worked in adult social care in Redcar and her no-nonsense approach caught the attention of many who campaigned with her, as well as viewers of the BBC show, which aired last year.

Middlesbrough South and east Cleveland MP Simon Clarke said Jade was a "remarkable person" who "will be very much missed", whilst Redcar MP Anna Turley described her as "bright and ferocious", adding she admired her "commitment and passion".

Jade Smith in 2018 at the Conservative Party Conference. Video: BBC

It is understood Jade's body was found at Huntcliff, the popular Saltburn beauty spot, on Sunday evening.

Cleveland Police say her death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.

Paying tribute to Jade, her best friend Paige said: “I don’t know where to start on all the amazing things I could say about Jade. We may only be young but it feels like we have a life time of memories.

“A lot of people didn't understand Jade, she always had a hard front on her and she didn't let many people in. But once you really got to know her she was the best person you could have in your life.

“One word to describe Jade is she was fierce, she had your back in heartbeat and I was honoured to be one of the few people Jade let into her life.

The Northern Echo: Promotion image for The Mighty Redcar Photographer: Daniel DewsburyPromotion image for The Mighty Redcar Photographer: Daniel Dewsbury

“One of my favourite memories of Jade is when we were in Zante and we had booked to go on the speed boats. Dramatic doesn't even begin to describe how eventful that day was.

“Firstly we willingly got into the back of a black van that had no windows and just a wooden ledge at one side for you to sit on. But instead of being concerned we just laughed and joked the whole way. That was probably the longest 20 minute journey anybody had ever took.

“We then get to the boats and we both sit on it and the man basically says right off you go and we quickly realise we have to drive the boat ourselves, luckily Jade was a natural at this! We headed towards turtle island and completely forgot to pull the engine up to lift the propeller out of the water as we got close to shore. We eventually get onto the island and as we are sat eating an ice cream, I turn to Jade and ask if that is our boat washing up on the beach.

“We then spent half an hour trying to get the boat back out into the water but every time we got close it would wash back up. Eventually some lads felt sorry for us and got the boat back out. We were then quite deep in the water and we just couldn't get back onto the boat. Once we managed to climb back on board we decided we would just drive around instead of attempting to go to any more islands. Later on we turn the engine off and we are just floating in open water, we sat there for nearly two hours just chatting away and suddenly its coming in dark.

“Jade then rang Chris and jokingly said to him we are stranded out at sea and the boat wont restart, karma really kicked in and after getting off the phone she went to restart the boat and there’s a surprise, it wouldn’t start. We tried for about 45 minutes before a lifeboat got to us and the man did one pull of the cord and the engine started up straight away! We were sat there like that is just typical. We then headed back to the docks and got back into the dodgy van. How we survived that day I will never know, but every minute of it was spent with us belly laughing.

“Jade when she got laughing had one of those laughs that was contagious! Words can’t describe how devastated I am to lose Jade, I feel like I've lost my partner in crime. I love the girl to bits and to say I'm going to miss her is an understatement. She may not be blood but she certainly was family.”

Mr Clarke said: “This is really awful news and I am deeply shocked and saddened. Jade was a remarkable and complex person. She would be the first to say she had made some mistakes, but she also had real qualities - not least a fierce work ethic, a mischievous sense of humour and a passionate love of our area.

“Anyone who saw her on The Mighty Redcar will remember her as a young woman who wanted to succeed and to make a difference. I am desperately saddened that she is no longer with us, and know that the sense of a life lost at its very outset will haunt many of us for many years to come. We won’t forget her and she will be missed.

"In a world where politics is all-consuming, a reminder that there are some things that are much more important and that there is always help available.

"Jade Smith was a remarkable person and she will be very much missed."

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Ms Turley said: "This is really sad. Jade was bright and ferocious.

"We disagreed on much but you had to admire her independent thought, commitment and passion and she had a huge amount to give the community and her party.

"My thoughts are with her family & friends."

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Dan Dewsbury, director of The Mighty Redcar, which was a four part series focusing on the stories of young people in Redcar and Grangetown following the closure of the SSI steelworks in 2015, tweeted: "RIP Jade Smith - you were passionate, brilliant and talented.

"It’s terribly sad that, at the end, you felt so alone."

Political campaigner Steve Turner added: "Such a tragic and unexpected loss. Jade was one of a kind and meant so much to myself and my wife.

"I remember taking the photo of her and Boris Johnson in Durham, she was bouncing around like an excited Tigger when he arrived and could hardly stand still long enough for the pic.

"Many people saw a bright, bubbly individual with lots to say who would walk into a room and you'd never know what would happen next. They knew she'd always have an opinion and she was going to give you it whether you liked it or not! Those people would also tell you this didn't always go down well and the fallout could be spectacular.

"For us though, and for lots of others that wasn't who she really was. It wasn't an act, but it was designed to never really let you in. She was bright bubbly and loud, very loud, but she could also be a  massively loyal and caring individual.

"She was full of ideas and thoughts on every topic and would never shy away from helping someone if she could. She had a vulnerability that not many saw and, like all of us sometimes, life would knock her down and we would help pick her back up in the same way she would do for ourselves and others.

"Jade was a beautiful person with a big heart."

The Northern Echo: Jade with Jacob YoungJade with Jacob Young

Jade's friend Chris Cassidy added: "She was obsessed with Disney. she’d never stop talking about taking another trip to Disneyland Paris. She loved listening to musicals, especially in my car, as she banned me from playing my own music.

"We’d often re-watch the thick of it together. It was the first thing we watched when she came round to mine for the first time. She liked designated survivor too. Sometimes when she was feeling sick, she’d make me put Horrid Henry on Netflix for her. 

"She helped run a girl guides group too. She seemed to really adore that, she was excited about being a group/troop leader."

Andrea Turner added: "Jade was a lovely person and Jade's impulsive nature was lovely to see when she had a positive plan from being part of an election to being part of the mighty Redcar.

"Jade had a passion for politics and she would have loved to have been a councillor. She supported her fellow conservatives and walked mikes delivery leaflets.

"The fun crazy side of Jade saw her getting drunk at the most prestigious occasions where we all panicked as we worried about what she would do or say next.  Jade's love for Boris was obvious after having his name tattooed on to her leg during a holiday.  She contacted us laughing with such excitement that she had the tattoo done.

"Jade wanted to be her own boss and came up with some great ideas including lemon digital. She was a good photographer and worked her magic on lots of different projects. She printed T-shirt’s for the back Boris campaign.

"She loved children especially her best friend Paige’s daughter. She picked up her whole world in suitcases and travelled to Greece and became a nanny but she was lonely and returned to the UK.

"Jade was a beautiful person with a very good heart and she will be missed."

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