People are paying tribute to Conservative MP James Brokenshire after his death at the age of 53.
The former minister and Old Bexley and Sidcup MP was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018. He took leave from his ministerial duties in the Home Office earlier this year after reporting a recurrence of a tumour on his right lung.
In a statement, Brokenshire’s family said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of James Brokenshire MP at the age of 53.
“James died peacefully at Darent Valley Hospital yesterday evening with family members by his bedside. He had been in hospital since Sunday after his condition rapidly deteriorated.
“James was not only a brilliant Government minister as both Security and Immigration Minister at the Home Office and Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office and Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government, but a dedicated constituency MP, first for Hornchurch from 2005 to 2010, and then for Old Bexley & Sidcup for the past 11 years.
“But most importantly, he was a loving father to his three children, a devoted husband to Cathy and a faithful friend to so many.
“We would like to thank all the NHS staff, particularly those at Guy’s & St Thomas’ in London, who cared for James with such warmth, diligence and professionalism over the past three-and-a-half years.
“We would also ask that our privacy as a family is respected at this time.”
Chair of the Old Bexley and Sidcup Conservative Association, Evelyn Morrison, who worked with Brokenshire for 12 years, said: “I’m very devastated. A wonderful, wonderful MP. Lots of integrity. He worked so closely with us.”
Meanwhile, journalists, public figures and MPs from across the chamber posted messages on Twitter, honouring Brokenshire:
James Brokenshire was quite simply the nicest man in politics. A true gentlemen.
We will all miss him hugely. My… https://t.co/em19QDMWvO
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP)
The news that James Brokenshire has passed away is utterly heartbreaking.
A gentle, kind man with three young chil… https://t.co/173l94WJKc