James Brokenshire

Part of Speaker's Statement – in the House of Commons at 12:54 pm on 20th October 2021.

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Photo of John Cryer John Cryer Labour, Leyton and Wanstead 12:54 pm, 20th October 2021

James and I must have first met in 2003, when he was selected as the Conservative candidate for Hornchurch and I was the sitting MP. In 2005, James won and I lost. It is sometimes quite easy to be bitter and angry when you lose, but I could not be bitter and angry at James because he was such a nice bloke. He was so helpful. In the run-up to that campaign, during it and afterwards, I cannot remember ever having harsh words with James, never mind falling out with him. That is what I will always carry with me about him.

Since then, James and I always kept in touch. Obviously we both ended up in Parliament together, so we ended up working together. We always had a very pleasant relationship, and we always got on very well. I saw him quite recently, as most of us did. It was a few months ago, when he thought he had beaten the illness. Sadly, he had not beaten it.

As the former Prime Minister just said, this place is much the poorer for James’s loss, so is the country and, although it may be none of my business, so I suspect is the Conservative party.