Former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire dies aged 53

By Connor Lynch

The former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has passed away aged 53.

The family of the MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup have said that he has passed away peacefully at the Darent Valley Hospital following a battle with cancer.

He had served as Northern Ireland Secretary from 2016 to 2018.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018 during his time in office and stepped down from the role to undergo treatment.

He was appointed to the Home Office in 2020, but had to step back from his role a year later after he was diagnosed again.

In a statement, Mr 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."

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