James Brokenshire resigns as Home Office minister following 'longer than anticipated' recovery from lung cancer treatment

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James Brokenshire has resigned as Home Office minister stating his recovery from lung cancer is "taking longer than expected".

Mr Brokenshire, who looks after the department's security brief, said standing down from his position will enable him to focus on his health.

The MP had his right lung removed as part of his treatment in February this year.

In a letter to the prime minister published on Wednesday, Mr Brokenshire said: "Throughout this period I have received outstanding treatment from our NHS at a time when it has been under such additional strain due to the pandemic.

"The people who work within it are truly amazing and the care I have received from Guy's and St Thomas's has been second to none.

"My recovery from treatment and return to full duties is, however, taking longer than anticipated.

"Given my responsibilities to the public, the government and to parliament, I have therefore concluded that it is best that I stand down from my ministerial role and focus on restoring my health."

Replying to his resignation letter, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he looks forward to welcoming Mr Brokenshire back "as soon as possible".

The Conservative MP also thanked Home Secretary Priti Patel for her support and said he hopes "to be able to serve again in some way in the future".

Mr Brokenshire was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018 after he coughed up a spot of blood during an event at Hillsborough Castle as Northern Ireland secretary.

He subsequently stepped down from his Cabinet role to undergo treatment.

After getting the all clear, he was appointed by Boris Johnson to the Home Office in February 2020.

However, the Old Bexley and Sidcup MP stepped back from his government role in January 2021 after discovering his lung cancer had returned.

Since his diagnosis, the 53-year-old father-of-three has called for an end to the stigma surrounding lung cancer.

Mr Brokenshire, who has never smoked, also admitted that his diagnoses has taken him to "dark places" and that the support of his family had been invaluable.

In response, Mr Johnson said he is "very sorry" to see Mr Brokenshire step back from his public duties.

He added that he fully supports the former minister's decision to focus on his recovery.

"In all your roles you have shown tireless dedication to improving the lives of others, particularly addressing some of the most challenging issues that face us as a country," the PM said in a letter.

"I understand entirely your need to step down from your role but look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible."

In a handwritten note added to the bottom of the letter, Mr Johnson adds his best wishes "for a speedy return to full health".

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