James was a one-off, a supremely loyal, honest, kind, funny and generous friend who despite his incredible workload would always make time to keep in contact and would bend over backwards to spend time with friends and family.
We first met in our late teens when I'd been volunteered to work the door of a YC disco (yes, it was called a disco back then). He apparently thought I was going to beat him up and I thought he was a bit posh. How very wrong we both were and how many times we laughed about that since.
In 35 years of friendship there was never a cross word, ever - it just wasn't James' way. James was loyal to his core and was always there for his friends and wonderfully easy-going company. He was always genuinely interested in others, his only fault (if you can call it that) was an annoyingly good memory of times I had embarrassed myself that we could still laugh about!
We often talked of plans for our retirement years, more time with our beloved families being front and centre; James loved his lovely wife and children so much. After that, there would be some cricket, watching West Ham and a relaxing pint or two.
It's so tragic that those years have so cruelly been snatched from him and his family but they can be rightly proud of how much he achieved - a politician that garnered so much respect and admiration from both colleagues and opponents, a wonderful marriage and a family who he could be so proud of and so many friends who loved him and enjoyed his company so greatly.
I will miss him so much, rest in peace Jimbo