REDDITCH MP Rachel Maclean has paid tribute to former Government minister James Brokenshire who has died after suffering from lung cancer.

Mr Brokenshire, the Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, died on Thursday evening with his family at his bedside, and had been in hospital since Sunday.

Reacting to the news, Mrs Maclean said: "Really shocked and saddened to hear that our colleague and former Home Office minister James Brokenshire has died of lung cancer at only 53.

"He was an incredibly kind, down to earth and positive person. I am praying for his family. He will be greatly missed in Parliament."

In September, Mr Brokenshire confirmed his lung cancer had “progressed” and he was starting a new line of treatment.

A family statement said his condition had rapidly deteriorated.

The statement said: “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.”

Mr Brokenshire resigned as security minister in July after telling Boris Johnson that his recovery from lung cancer surgery in February was taking “longer than expected”.