Wes Streeting is to undergo treatment for kidney cancer, he announced Friday morning (14 May).
The Labour MP, 38, said his diagnosis had come as an “enormous shock” but the prognosis, he stressed, was good – the cancer has been caught early.
Streeting, MP for Ilford North and long considered a rising star in the opposition party, said he will take a break from the benches “from the end of next week […] for a little while” in a video uploaded on his Twitter.
He won’t be back until he makes a “full recovery” from the treatment, he said.
“Back in early March,” he began in the video, “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. My family have made it very clear – and actually so has Keir [Starmer] – 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.”
Wes Streeting thanked his loved ones, party members and campaigners for supporting him through this “really difficult period”.
“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,” he said.
The announcement comes after Labour leader Keir Starmer promoted Wes Streeting to the shadow cabinet, as shadow secretary of state for child poverty, in a reshuffle last weekend.
“The thoughts of the whole Labour Party are with Wes and his family at this difficult time,” Starmer wrote in a tweet.
“Wes is a friend and a colleague and I know he’ll come back from this even stronger and more determined than ever before.
“I can’t wait to see him back in Parliament as soon as possible.”