Former minister James Brokenshire ‘keeping upbeat’ as cancer progresses

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Former Government minister James Brokenshire has confirmed his lung cancer has “progressed” and he is starting a new line of treatment.

The Tory MP, 53, resigned as security minister in July after telling Boris Johnson that his recovery from lung cancer surgery in February was taking “longer than expected”.

On Tuesday he said he was “keeping upbeat” over his condition but “needs space to focus on treatment”.

Writing on Twitter, the Old Bexley and Sidcup MP said: “Regrettably my cancer has progressed. Am starting a new line of treatment this week and receiving great care from the team at @GSTTnhs (Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust).

“Unwelcome news but keeping upbeat. Cathy and the kids have been amazing and appreciate all the kind messages. Now need space to focus on treatment.”

Fellow MPs sent messages of support to Mr Brokenshire, including the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who wrote: “So sorry to hear James. Our thoughts are with you and your family, and we hope you recover soon.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Sending you and Cathy all best wishes.”

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Stay strong my friend.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “This is very sad news James but glad to hear you’re in good hands. Wishing you a speedy recovery and my thoughts with you and your family.”

In July, Mr Brokenshire sent a letter to the Prime Minister announcing he was standing down from the Government to “focus on restoring my health”, having been diagnosed with the condition two years ago.

The Old Bexley and Sidcup MP was discharged from Guy’s Hospital in London in February after a “frustrating resurgence” in the disease required surgery to remove his right lung.

In the letter, Mr Brokenshire thanked the Prime Minister for his support during the treatment and praised the “truly amazing” medics who had been working with him.

“My recovery from treatment and return to full duties is, however, taking longer than anticipated,” he wrote.

“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.”

The MP said he hopes to be able to “serve again in some way in the future”.

Former security minister Mr Brokenshire was replaced in the role by Damian Hinds, who was appointed on August 13.

At the time, it appeared Mr Brokenshire would not be replaced in the role, with the Home Office saying Home Secretary Priti Patel would expand her brief to take on the responsibilities of the security minister.

But Mr Hinds was announced as the new security minister only hours later, following criticism of the move.

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