Linda October 9th, 2021

He was my minister when he first joined the Home Office and I worked with him off and on over his years there. He was a joy to work for, thoughtful, considered, funny, intelligent and always willing to listen to, and appreciate, advice. More than any other minister, he always had time to say hello and have a quick chat, even when he moved to the other end of 2MS to be SoS DCLG. I have so many memories of dealing with him, but what stands out in all of them is his profound decency. One evening, as I was working late to meet a deadline his office had set (and thus missing several leaving drinks), he walked past my desk, asked why I was there so late, and on hearing why, told me to forget the deadline and go to the drinks - on the grounds that saying cheerio to my friends was more important than his deadline. It was a small, but important, gesture to me. He always said he saw ministers and civil servants as working together as a team and I for one was glad to be on his team. JB has been taken far too young and I feel such sadness for his family, but they should know that he was liked, admired and valued by so many that worked for him.