The 53-year-old, who served as Northern Ireland Secretary and Housing Secretary, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2018
Former Tory Minister James Brokenshire has died aged 53 after a battle with lung cancer.
He had passed away on Thursday surrounded by his family after being admitted to hospital at the weekend.
Boris Johnson led tributes to his former Cabinet colleague, whom he described as “the nicest, kindest and most unassuming of politicians but also extraordinarily effective”.
The flags in Parliament were lowered to half mast on Friday as a mark of respect.
The Old Bexley and Sidcup MP, who had never smoked, was diagnosed with early stage lung cancer in 2018 after discovering a small amount of blood in his tissue after coughing.
He confirmed in August that the cancer had progressed and he was starting a new line of treatment.
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.
“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.”
Mr Brokenshire resigned as Northern Ireland Secretary in 2018 to have the upper lobe of his lung removed but he was back in Parliament five weeks later.
He returned to the Cabinet as Housing Secretary from April 2018 to July 2019.
Boris Johnson appointed him as Security Minister last year but he took a leave of absence in January 2021 to prepare for another cancer operation.
He resigned in July after struggling with his recovery.
Tributes poured in today from across the political divide, with many hailing Mr Brokenshire for his kindness and decency.
The PM offered particular praise for Mr Brokenshire’s service at the Home Office and as Security Minister – and his dedication to his constituents.
Mr Johnson added: “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. Our thoughts are with Cathy and his family.”
Ex-PM Theresa May, who appointed him to her Cabinet, said: “Truly saddened by the death of James Brokenshire.
“He was an outstanding public servant, a talented minister and a loyal friend.”
Former PM David Cameron also tweeted: “Devastated to hear the heartbreaking news that James Brokenshire has died, well before his time.
“He was a hard working and dedicated MP but, more than that, he was a thoroughly decent and lovely man, and devoted to his family. My thoughts and prayers are with them all today.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps described him as “a true gentleman” and “quite simply the nicest man in politics”.
He tweeted: “We will all miss him hugely.”
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis also expressed his sadness at the news.
“An immensely kind and generous man, James was admired by all who had the privilege to know him and work with him,” he said.
“I know there will be many across NI who will share that sentiment.”
“He fought his illness with dignity and bravery. I’m incredibly sad to learn of his death and send my condolences to his wife and children.”
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey also added his condolences.
He tweeted: “Losing a loved one is always hard, but losing someone so young is particularly difficult.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Catherine and their children, and all James’ family and friends.”
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: ‘I will always remember James for his positivity and good sense of humour – and for being one of the most friendly, thoughtful and well-liked people in the House of Commons.
“His passing is a profound loss to us all.”