Former Tory housing minister James Brokenshire has died after a prolonged battle with cancer.
The 53-year-old served in Theresa May’s Cabinet as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government from 2018 to 2019 having been Northern Ireland secretary for two years before that.
He was best known for championing the Tenant Fees Act and steering it successfully through parliament.
His other significant policy initiative while housing minister was to set the ball rolling on leasehold reform and the ending of doubling ground rents, policies that happily he lived long enough to see come to fruition.
Brokenshire’s family have released a statement saying: “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.”
Brokenshire was diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer in December 2017. He had his right lung removed in January this year, later announcing that he was stepping down from his role as a security minister at the Home Office.
He is survived by his wife Catherine and their two daughters and a son.
Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Advisor at Propertymark, says: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of James Brokenshire today and our thoughts are with his friends and family.
“While Immigration Minister, he took a very hands-on approach to the role of Co-Chair of the Landlord Stakeholder panel navigating the implementation of Right to Rent checks.
“It is unusual for a Minister to attend the number of stakeholder panel meetings that he did at that time, believing in the importance of giving complex issues a thorough hearing across a wide range of interest groups.”