Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby Announces Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Rachel Wearmouth
Jennie Formby, general secretary of the Labour Party 

Messages of support have flooded in for Labour general secretary Jennie Formby after it was revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  

The party chief emailed MPs and peers this morning to disclose the news she plans to stand down from some duties, as she will begin treatment this week. 

“I am writing to you with some personal news. I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be starting my treatment this week,” she wrote. 

“Although this news has come as a shock to me and my family, I feel so grateful that I have access to and support from our wonderful NHS.” 

Formby said she will begin treatment at hospitals in Southampton, adding: “I will continue to work as much as I can. For those days when I can’t, the executive directors and my direct team will make sure everything carries on as usual.” 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told Formby "my heart goes out to you" as people from across the labour movement began to share messages of support on social media. 

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: “I’m so sorry to hear this Jennie, but I know you will be in wonderful, exceptional, dedicated hands in our NHS. Take care and we all look forward to seeing you again soon.” 

Shadow Scotland minister Paul Sweeney added: “Best wishes to you, Jennie. Sometimes things suddenly happen that put life into perspective. I’m sure you will meet this challenge with strength.” 

Tim Roache, general secretary of the GMB union, said Formby would “fight this with the same strength and tenacity that you fight for our movement”, adding: “The thoughts and love from all @GMB_union are with you for a speedy and complete recovery. We need you back.” 

Several other MPs shared messages of support. 

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon also tweeted.