Tributes have been paid to a “true public servant of the highest integrity”, Lord Bob Kerslake, after his family announced his death.
The former civil service chief, 68, died on Saturday after “a brief battle with cancer”, his “devastated” sister Ros Kerslake said in a CBE social media post on Sunday morning.
Senior figures in the Labor Party, including its leader Sir Keir Starmer, shadow health secretary Wes Streeting, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and London Mayor Sadiq Khan were among those who they paid their respects to the pair of the bench.
He was nominated for a peerage by David Cameron and ennobled upon his retirement as permanent secretary in the Department for Communities and Local Government, with the peerage bestowed by the late Queen in 2015.
Lord Kerslake was also chairman of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in south London, but resigned in 2017, warning the health service could not continue to “flounder” at current funding levels.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Ros Kerslake wrote: “My brother Bob (Lord Robert Kerslake) died yesterday after a short battle with cancer. We are all devastated.”
In another tweet, Eleanor Kerslake added: “Unfortunately my wonderful father Bob Kerslake passed away yesterday.
“We are all devastated.
“Dad had a few jobs in his time, but the most important to him was being a truly fantastic husband, father, brother, son and grandfather.”
“So very sorry to hear that Bob Kerslake has died,” Sir Keir tweeted on Sunday.
“Bob was a talented, highly professional public servant and a good man.
“He was rightly respected throughout Westminster for his experience and wisdom, and I am grateful for his recent contributions to the Labor Party.
“Sincere condolences to his family.”
Labor veteran Mr McDonnell tweeted: “Just heard the terribly sad news that Bob Kerslake has died.
“I have known Bob since he was with us on the GLC (Greater London Council).
“He was a true public servant of the highest integrity, dedicated his life to caring for people and tackling inequality wherever he found it. My condolences to his family.”
Streeting said his death was “terribly sad news”.
“Bob was such a committed and decent public servant taken too soon,” he tweeted.
“Deepest condolences to his family and all those who knew and loved him.”
Khan hailed him as “a true public servant.”
“His kindness and commitment to the betterment of our city and country will always be remembered,” he added.
“My thoughts are with his family and friends today.”
Lord Kerslake also chaired the independent review into Greater Manchester’s preparation for and response to the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.