Labour frontbencher Wes Streeting, who was newly appointed to Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet in the reshuffle last weekend, is set to take time out for kidney cancer treatment, he has revealed today.
Party members, MPs and figures from across the movement have sent their best wishes to the 38-year-old Shadow Child Poverty Secretary and Labour MP for Ilford North following the announcement.
In a video released shortly before 11am, Streeting said: “I’ve got some personal news that I want to share with you because I’m going to be away from work for a while and I want to tell you why.
“Back in early March, I went into hospital with a kidney stone and, at the time, a scan identified a lump on the same kidney. Around a month later, in April, unfortunately that lump was diagnosed as kidney cancer.
“While receiving a cancer diagnosis at the age of 38 has come as an enormous shock, the good news is because of that kidney stone the cancer has been caught early, my prognosis is very good, and I should make a full recovery.
“But it does mean I have to take time off work for treatment. I want to say a massive thank you to my family, close friends and colleagues, who supported me through what has been, a really difficult period.
“And I also want to say thank you to all of the Labour candidates and activists I joined on the doorstep because, without knowing it, they made such a difference to me during what was a really difficult time, taking my mind off things and helping me to crack on as normal.
“I will be taking time off from the end of next week and, during that time, if you’re an Ilford North constituent and you need my help as your local MP, you should continue to contact my office as normal and my brilliant team of staff will be there to support you.
“But in the meantime I’m going to be following doctors’ orders. My family have made it very clear – and actually so has Keir – that I will not be coming back until I’ve made a full recovery.
“Hopefully that won’t be too long but in the meantime, bear with me and thank you very much in advance for your support.”
Commenting on the news, Keir Starmer said: “The thoughts of the entire Labour Party are with Wes and his family at this very difficult time.
“Wes is a friend and a colleague and I know he will come back from this even stronger and more determined than ever before. I cannot wait to see him back in parliament as soon as possible.”