Tributes follow death of former communities secretary James Brokenshire
James Brokenshire, the Conservative MP and former communities secretary, has died at the age of 53.
He passed away at Darrant Valley hospital from lung cancer surrounded by friends and family after being admitted at the weekend.
Mr Brokenshire headed the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government between 2018 and 2019 in Theresa May's government. He was also secretary of state for Northern Ireland from 2016 to 2018.
He was first elected as an MP in 2005 for the Hornchurch constituency, before representing Bexley and Sidcup from 2010.
A statement released by Mr Brokenshire's family said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of James Brokenshire at the age of 53.”
“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 and Local Government, but a dedicated constituency MP.”
“But most importantly, he was a loving father to his three children, a devoted husband to Cathy and a faithful friend to so many.”
Tributes have poured in for Mr Brokenshire, with the prime minister describing him in a Twitter post as “the nicest, kindest and most unassuming of politicians but also extraordinarily effective".
James Jamieson (Con), the chairman of the LGA, posted: “Sad news, I will always remember James as a real gentleman, thoughtful and kind. Always had time to listen, our thoughts are with his family.”
The County Councils Network (CCN) also shared their condolences. CCN chairman Tim Oliver (Con) said: “We are all deeply saddened and shocked by the news of the passing of the Rt. Hon James Brokenshire MP at such a young age.”
“As secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James was a strong supporter of the vital role that councils and their communities play.”
Graeme McDonald, managing director of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers, described Mr Brokenshire as a "superb SoS [secretary of state] whose integrity, intellect, and humanity shone through".
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities tweeted that Mr Brokenshire “is fondly remembered by civil servants across the Department. Our condolences go to his family.”
And Lord Porter (Con), leader of South Holland DC, paid tribute to the former minister as “without a doubt one of the kindest, most thoughtful politicians I have ever worked with”.
“Local government has lost one of its greatest champions,” he added.