Michelle October 9th, 2021

Politician, friend and family man. Or more precisely, family man, friend and politician. To all he will be reminded for being fair, considered and insightful. To those who were fortunate enough to have him as a dear friend will also remember James for his generosity. He would always be more interested in you that he was himself. Despite all his achievements, of which there were many his conversation always focussed on the person he was speaking to. When he asked you how you were, you knew he meant it with sincerity. He gave warmth to all those around him. We were fortunate to know James for 15 years. During that time, he became an MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, serving his constituents and country with diligence and respectfulness. No problem was too small. No problem was too big. His service in the Home Office saw him make difficult decisions. He was brave enough and clever enough to rid our country of those who threatened us. During the 2012 Olympics he spent every waking hour in a darkened room with the Security Services making sure we all stayed safe. As Secretary of State for Northern Ireland he engendered a sense of humanity across the divide, receiving warmth and compassion from both sides. It reminds one of the Sting song ‘The Russians Love Their Children Too’. Such feats show the true achievements of a great man from high politics to a gentle conversation between friends. He always made a difference. He leaves behind a legacy to be proud of. The biggest of which is his family. Because of James and his amazing marriage to Cathy his children possess care, intelligence and humour, in equal measures. James thank you for being a dear friend and thank you for making our world a better place. Adrian, Michelle, Annabel and Pips