James Brokenshire

Part of Speaker's Statement – in the House of Commons at 1:04 pm on 20th October 2021.

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Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport) 1:04 pm, 20th October 2021

In the midst of life, we are in death. Here we have no continuing city. Those prophetic words tell us something of the suddenness of the passing of our colleague and friend, a much missed Member of this House. It teaches us that this is for real, there are no dress rehearsals, and we have got to live this life and live it well. Your colleague and your friend, and our colleague and our friend, lived his life well, he lived it dynamically and in a manner that was upright and noticed by those around him. The words “decent”, “honourable”, “kind” and “helpful” have all already been used today in this House and will remain as a true reminder of our colleague.

It is my honour to pay tribute to James Brokenshire on behalf of my colleagues here on the Ulster Benches. James was a well-respected Secretary of State. He was an unknown quantity when he first arrived, but, with due respect to the others who followed, he was much missed when he had gone. He was indeed a man who had genuine qualities that were reflected in the way in which he took decisions on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland. His many years of service in Parliament are marked by service to the people of not only Great Britain, but all of the United Kingdom, which of course includes Northern Ireland. So we salute that memory, with honour and, I hope, with dignity. To his beloved wife Cathy and to his lovely children, we extend our sincere condolences, and we hope that they find some rainbow of hope over the deep valley of tears that they have wept.