But as the tributes poured in, there was continuing controversy, with pro-life campaigners calling for more rights to be given to families wanting to care for their children themselves.

The Christian Legal Centre, which supported Alfie’s parents in court, said the child should at least have been allowed to spend his last days at home. But it said this had not been possible because of ‘unnecessary delays’.

Spokeswoman Andrea Williams said: ‘The whole thing could have been avoided by simply allowing Alfie to be taken to a hospital of his parents’ choice that would have given him the care they were looking for with another team.’