Former Northern Ireland Secretary passes away

Former Northern Ireland Secretary passes away

Former NI Secretary James Brokenshire has died at the age of 53. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Jonathan McNabb

Reporter:

Jonathan McNabb

The former Northern Ireland Secretary and Conservative MP James Brokenshire has died at the age of 53, his family said in a statement.

The former Home Office Minister stood down as security minister in July to focus on his health after a recurrence of his illness.

The MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup entered hospital on Sunday after his condition deteriorated and he passed away “peacefully" last night.

A statement released by his 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 and Local Government, but a dedicated constituency MP, first for Hornchurch from 2005 to 2010, and then for Old Bexley and 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 and 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.”

Brandon Lewis, who succeeded Mr Brokenshire as Northern Ireland Secretary, said: "Incredibly sad to hear this news.

"An immensely kind and generous man, James was admired by all who had the privilege to know him and work with him. I know there will be many across NI who will share that sentiment. My thoughts are with his family."

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