James - or Brokey, as we knew him - was a much-loved figure in the Home Office press office. I was lucky enough to work with him for five years, in three different ninisterial roles.
We weathered a litany of calamities, starting with the London riots and running through multiple pretty disastrous immigration statistics. We often joked that our media handling strategy was seldom more sophisticated than putting a tin hat on.
It was brilliant working on the deportation of Abu Qatada - one of his finest moments. Less brilliant on his 'wealthy metropolitan elite' speech, when it seemed for a terrifying weekend we might have inadvertently brought down the Prime Minister.
My fondest memory, though, was after I'd moved to No 10. We got a notification announcing he'd been made Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and I legged it down the hall to be the first person to congratulate him. He was clearly absolutely thrilled and it was such a pleasure to see.
Brokey was a genuinely lovely guy and will be missed by all in Whitehall.