October 8, 2021 2.03 pm

MPs and councillors pay tribute to James Brokenshire MP dead at 53

“Bas***d cancer” takes “kindest, most thoughtful politician”

MPs and councillors in Lincolnshire have been paying tribute to Conservative MP and former minister James Brokenshire, who has died aged 53.

Mr Brokenshire was diagnosed with lung cancer more than three years ago, but reported a recurrence of a tumour on his right lung earlier this year.

He had been in hospital since his condition worsened on Sunday.

South Holland District Council leader Gary Porter, who was Local Government Association chairman from 2015 to 2019, said on Twitter: “Devastating news that that bas***d cancer has taken James.

“He was without doubt one of the kindest, most thoughtful politicians I have ever worked with.

“Cathy and the children have lost a loving, caring husband and dad, local government has lost one of its greatest champions.”

He was joined in tribute by numerous Lincolnshire MPs, including Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies, who said: “Extremely sad news. James was a lovely man and terrific public servant. Thoughts are with Cathy and his family.”

James Brokenshire was the Old Bexley and Sidcup MP.

However, he was first elected to Parliament in 2005 as MP for the former constituency of Hornchurch.

He resigned from the cabinet in 2018 following his diagnosis but later returned to government.

Mr Brokenshire served as a Home Office minister from February last year until this July.

Previously, he was Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government from April 2018 to July 2019, and Northern Ireland Secretary from July 2016 to January 2018.

In his role with Communities, he released £155,000 of funding to the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Money from the programme went towards accelerating the development of food and advanced manufacturing industries across Lincolnshire and the South Humber – including the Holbeach Food Enterprise Zone.

He was also involved in various talks around devolution plans.

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman, who arranged some of those conversations, said: “James was a brilliant and kind man and the best of politicians. Rest in peace.”

Former Lincolnshire MPs have also paid their respects, with Lincoln’s Karen Lee tweeting: “My thoughts and prayers are with James Brokenshire’s family, devastating news. RIP.”

Former Grantham MP Sir Nic Dakin said: “James was always very generous and caring. Very sorry to hear that he’s passed away. Thoughts with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

In a statement on Friday, Mr Brokenshire’s family said: “James died peacefully at Darent Valley Hospital [in Kent] yesterday evening with family members by his bedside.”

“James was not only a brilliant government minister… but a dedicated constituency MP.

“Most importantly, he was a loving father to his three children, a devoted husband to Cathy and a faithful friend to so many.”

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