Fire service boss being investigated ‘for lying about London university degree’ found dead

Wayne Brown was discovered dead at his home (PA)
Wayne Brown was discovered dead at his home (PA)

A fire service chief, who was being investigated over allegations that he lied about his qualifications on his CV, has been found dead.

Wayne Brown’s body was discovered at his home on Wednesday morning, West Midlands Fire Service said in a statement.

They added: “All our thoughts and love are with his family, his friends and his colleagues.

“We ask everyone that his family and his colleagues are given time and space at this tragic time.”

The police are not treating the death as suspicious.

It comes a day after The Sun revealed that the West Midlands Fire Service is carrying out inquiries into accusations that Mr Brown was dishonest about his Master of Business Administration degree, from London South Bank University.

The university has reportedly confirmed it has no record of this supposed qualification, which was then removed from his LinkedIn profile.

Mr Brown is also said to have claimed to have been a former Charlton Athletic professional footballer.

But he was only on a youth training scheme at the League One club, according to the newspaper.

Separately, Mr Brown was involved in a court case in which a man was charged with harassment against him, the BBC reported.

According to the West Midlands Fire Service website, Mr Brown started his career as a firefighter in east London and spent 27 years in the London Fire Brigade, rising to assistant commissioner.

He joined West Midlands as deputy chief fire officer in November 2019 and was responsible for community risk reduction before becoming chief fire officer in January 2023.

The website said Mr Brown "has attended some of the UK's most significant operational incidents, including London terrorist attacks and the devastating Grenfell Tower fire" and is "an ex-professional footballer with Uefa coaching qualifications".

London Fire Brigade posted a tribute to Mr Brown from Fire Commissioner Andy Roe, saying: "I am deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Wayne Brown.

"Wayne was a valued and respected colleague in the brigade for over 20 years before joining West Midlands FRS. Our thoughts go out to Wayne's family and friends at this difficult time."

West Midlands Ambulance Service posted on X: "We are very sad to hear of the passing of Wayne Brown. Mr Brown was well regarded by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting and working with him. Our deepest condolences go to his family and colleagues at @WestMidsFire."

Labour peer Baroness Twycross, London's deputy mayor for fire and resilience, posted: "Absolutely devastating news - @WestMidsFire Chief Fire Officer, Wayne Brown, was hugely respected across the sector and much loved by his colleagues, including those who knew him from his many years' service at @LondonFire."

West Midlands Police said: “We can confirm that we attended an address in Birmingham this morning where the body of a man in his 50s was sadly found.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and we are liaising with the local coroner.

"A formal identification will take place in due course.

"The man’s family is being supported by specialist officers and our thoughts are with them at this time."