David Cameron pays tribute to principal private secretary Chris Martin, who died today

The Prime Minister described top official as “somewhere between a brother and a father” to all in the Number 10 team

By Suzannah.Brecknell

25 Nov 2015

Prime minister David Cameron has described Chris Martin, his principal private secretary who died today, as “one of the most loyal, hard-working, dedicated public servants that I’ve ever come across".

The seat where Martin sat in Parliament was left empty as a mark of respect, while Cameron began Prime Ministers’ questions with a tribute to his PPS, saying: “I’ve no idea what his politics were but he would go to the ends of the earth and back again for his Prime Minister, for Number 10, and for the team he worked for.”

He continued that the “wider Number 10 family” feel “we’ve lost someone between a father and a brother to all of us, and whatever happens we will never forget him.”

Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood also paid tribute to Martin in a tweet saying Martin was a "remarkable man" and a "dear, dear friend".

Farewell Chris Martin. Brilliant Civil Servant. Remarkable man. Dear, dear friend. We will all miss him deeply https://t.co/Pn9JtP5GNR

— Sir Jeremy Heywood (@HeadUKCivServ) November 25, 2015

Responding the the Prime Minister's statement in the Commons, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "on behalf of many members who worked with Chris Martin when we were in government, [we] appreciate very much the professional work he did in the very highest and best traditions of the civil service in this country."

Among other MPs who tweeted their respects for Martin were Ed Balls, Ed Miliband  Yvette Cooper, who described Martin as a "lovely man and brilliant civil servant."

Really glad PM gave moving tribute to Chris Martin. Lovely man and brilliant civil servant. Will be badly missed

— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) November 25, 2015

A moving tribute to Chris Martin. He was a brilliant civil servant & a truly decent man who faced cancer so bravely. https://t.co/Z1Abti9pBX

— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) November 25, 2015

Martin served as press secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer between 2006 and 2007, and joined the Cabinet Office in 2010.

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