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Jeremy Heywood dead: The former cabinet secretary and head of civil service dies of cancer at the age of 56

Jeremy Heywood, the former public service chief, died at the age of 56.

The former cabinet secretary was appointed to the post in 2014, but retired last month after the fight against cancer.

After his resignation, he was called to the House of Lords and appointed Lord Heywood of Whitehall.

Downing Street announced it had died Sunday morning, causing tributes across the political spectrum.

His wife Suzanne described her husband in a statement as a "wonderful father" who has penned "a huge amount into his 56 years".

She said, "He saw it as a great privilege to work so closely with four Prime Ministers and two Chancellors, and worked tirelessly to help each of them achieve their goals.

"He was always aware of the need for officials to see the world through the eyes of ministers while respecting the boundaries between politicians and officials.

"Apart from his work, he inspired admiration, respect and affection in his diverse group of friends and gave them back to them. Jeremy could illuminate any room or conversation, and loved having a good party. "

Leaders from across the political spectrum stood in line to honor the former Cabinet Secretary.

Theresa May said, "This is very sad news and all my thoughts are with Jerder's family and friends.

"The many retirements that Jeremy had paid over the past few weeks from various political sectors showed that he had extraordinary talent to support and advise Prime Ministers and Ministers and to lead the civil service with distinction.

"He has worked tirelessly to serve our country in the best traditions of public service, and he is a great loss to British public life."

She added, "I will always be grateful for the support he has given me personally and I will remember his successes throughout his career, as we regret that he was no longer able to offer his talents in retirement."

Former Prime Minister David Cameron said, "He was an amazing man, a brilliant civil servant dedicated to our country. It was a privilege to work with him. "

Cameron's predecessor, Gordon Brown, also paid tribute, saying that the country had lost "a leader of exceptional ability" with "undeniable integrity" and "remarkable courage."

He added, "Jeremy Heywood was the most dynamic official of his generation, a leader who inspires confidence whose expertise has been recognized by everyone and whose impartiality has never been questioned."

And Tony Blair described Lord Heywood as "an outstanding civil servant and someone from whom I have great respect both as a professional and a human being."

He added, "He has been working with more prime ministers and at a higher level than any official lately and has served us all with integrity, distinctiveness and endless commitment."

Lord Heywood has been replaced by Sir Mark Sedwill as Cabinet Secretary, who will also serve in his other role as National Security Advisor to Ms. May.

He said, "We will miss him more than we can say, and become poorer without his advice, his guidance, and his extraordinary insights. He set the highest standards and challenged us to fulfill them. "

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