Former housing secretary James Brokenshire has died at 53, his family says
Conservative MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup, James Brokenshire, who had been suffering from lung cancer, has died aged 53, his family has said.
The former Tory Minister was diagnosed in 2018.
A statement from his family said James died peacefully at Darrant Valley Hospital yesterday evening with family members by his side.
His family said in a statement: "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."
Brokenshire was first diagnosed with early stage lung cancer in 2018. While serving as Northern Ireland Secretary, he had been attending an event at Hillsborough Castle when he coughed up a spot of blood.
He quit as Northern Ireland Secretary in 2018 to have the upper lobe of his lung removed, before returning to Parliament five weeks later.
After getting the all clear in early 2020, he was reappointed under Boris Johnson to Home Office Minister.
He was forced to resign in July this year, after the cancer made an aggressive return.
After a "frustrating resurgence" in the disease, Brokenshire was discharged from Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in February, where he'd had surgery to remove his right lung.
In a letter to the Prime Minister he wrote, “My recovery from treatment and return to full duties is, however, taking longer than anticipated
“Given my responsibilities to the public, the Government and to Parliament, I have therefore concluded that it is best that I stand down from my ministerial role and focus on restoring my health.”
The father of three had been in hospital since Sunday, where his condition rapidly deteriorated.
The family have thanked the staff at Guys and St Thomas' Hospital "who cared for James with warmth, diligence and professionalism over the past three-and-a-half years".
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted he was "desperately sad to hear the news about James Brokenshire
"James was the nicest, kindest and most unassuming of politicians but also extraordinarily effective.
"His fight against cancer was heroic, and it is a measure of his resolve that he came back from a first bout with the disease to serve in government again. He will be missed by all who knew him"
Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer said Brokenshire was a "thoroughly decent man" who "dedicated and effective in all briefs he held. He fought his illness with dignity and bravery"