Politician Wes Streeting diagnosed with kidney cancer aged 38

·2-min read
Wes Streeting (PA Archive)
Wes Streeting (PA Archive)

Labour frontbencher Wes Streeting is to step back from politics while he undergoes treatment for kidney cancer.

Mr Streeting, 38, said the diagnosis had come as “an enormous shock” but the prognosis was good as the disease had been caught early.

In a video message posted on his Twitter feed, the MP for Ilford North said he would not be returning to work until he had made a full recovery.

The announcement comes less than a week after he was promoted to the shadow cabinet by Sir Keir Starmer as shadow secretary of state for child poverty.

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In his message, Mr Streeting said: “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.

PA Archive
PA Archive

“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 – 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.”

I know he will come back from this even stronger and more determined than ever before

Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir said the thoughts of the entire Labour Party were with Mr Streeting and his family.

“Wes is a friend and a colleague and I know he will come back from this even stronger and more determined than ever before,” the Labour leader said.

“I cannot wait to see him back in Parliament as soon as possible.”

Mr Streeting, a former president of the National Union of Students, is regarded as one of Labour’s rising stars.

He was an outspoken critic of former leader Jeremy Corbyn over his failure to tackle anti-Semitism in the party.

In his statement, Mr Streeting paid tribute to family, friends and colleagues who supported him through a “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.

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