Former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has died at the age of 53, his family has said in a statement.

The former lawyer was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in July 2016, but resigned in January 2018 for health reasons after revealing that he needed surgery for a "small lesion" on his lung.

The Old Bedley and Sidcup MP revealed in August this year that he was receiving new treatment after his lung cancer had "progressed".

In a statement, Mr Brokenshire's family said: "It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of James Brokenshire MP at the age of 53.

"James died peacefully at Darent Valley Hospital yesterday evening with family members by his bedside. He had been in hospital since Sunday after his condition rapidly deteriorated.

"James was not only a brilliant Government minister as both Security and Immigration Minister at the Home Office and Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office and Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government, but a dedicated constituency MP, first for Hornchurch from 2005 to 2010, and then for Old Bexley & Sidcup for the past 11 years.

"But most importantly, he was a loving father to his three children, a devoted husband to Cathy and a faithful friend to so many.

"We would like to thank all the NHS staff, particularly those at Guy's & St Thomas' in London, who cared for James with such warmth, diligence and professionalism over the past three-and-a-half years.

"We would also ask that our privacy as a family is respected at this time."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is "desperately sad" to hear of Mr Brokenshire's passing.

"James was the nicest, kindest and most unassuming of politicians but also extraordinarily effective. He served with particular distinction in the Home Office and as Security Minister," Mr Johnson said in a post on Twitter.

"His fight against cancer was heroic, and it is a measure of his resolve that he came back from a first bout with the disease to serve in government again. He will be missed by all who knew him.

"Our thoughts are with Cathy and his family."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: "Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former NI Secretary James Brokenshire.

"A dedicated politician and public servant, whose sincerity and commitment shone through, especially in the context of his work in Northern Ireland. My sympathies to his wife Cathy, children and family."

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney hailed Mr Brokenshire as a "genuine public servant who made a real positive impact".

Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan said the North "has lost a friend who cared for our people and served with integrity".

Sinn Féin vice president and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill tweeted: "Sad news. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of James Brokenshire."

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson described it was "desperately sad news".

He added: "James was one of the genuinely nicest people I have worked with in politics. He often spoke warmly of his time in Northern Ireland as Secretary of State. My thoughts and prayers are with his dear wife Cathy and his colleagues in the Conservative Party."

Northern Ireland's former first minister Arlene Foster said: "I am so shocked and saddened by James' death - one of the good guys in politics who handled his diagnosis with such grace.

"I am of course sending my love and prayers to Cathy and their children as well as all his colleagues and friends."

British Chancellor Rishi Sunak wrote on Twitter: "James Brokenshire was a man of public service and the highest integrity. He was a valued friend and colleague and will be deeply missed.

"My thoughts are with his family on this incredibly sad day."

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted: "James Brokenshire was a thoroughly decent man, dedicated and effective in all briefs he held.

"He fought his illness with dignity and bravery. I'm incredibly sad to learn of his death and send my condolences to his wife and children."

Additional reporting by PA