Belfast Telegraph

‘One hard step done’: Ex-minister James Brokenshire undergoes lung surgery

The former Northern Ireland Secretary quit on medical grounds earlier this month.

Former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has revealed that he has undergone lung surgery.

The Conservative MP made the announcement on Twitter, less than two weeks after stepping down from the Cabinet post on medical grounds.

In his resignation letter to Theresa May he said he required an operation to remove a small lesion in his right lung.

Posting a picture of himself in hospital, the 50-year-old Old Bexley and Sidcup MP wrote: “Discharged from hospital this morning after my lung surgery.

“The #NHS doctors, nurses and support staff were absolutely outstanding and I could not have been in better hands.

“One hard step done but now the steady recovery and recuperation ahead.

“Will be taking things steadily.”

He received messages of support from MPs including Dame Cheryl Gillan, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Guy Opperman, and Mrs May’s ex-MP chief of staff Gavin Barwell.

Mr Brokenshire had used Twitter to reveal on Tuesday that he was due to have the surgery in upcoming days.

Stepping down from the Government on January 8, Mr Brokenshire said the surgery would mean he could not give the “effort, energy and complete focus” needed for the Northern Ireland post, which was filled by Karen Bradley.

Efforts to restore the powersharing administration in Northern Ireland and the impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland mean that the role is demanding and sensitive and Mr Brokenshire said he had hoped to lead the “essential work with renewed intent” before his diagnosis.

In his letter to Mrs May he said: “I recognise that this comes at an important moment for politics in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Brokenshire, 50, said he had been informed about the lesion “in the last few days” after a series of tests in recent weeks.

The Prime Minister appeared to hold out the prospect of a return to government for Mr Brokenshire, who had previously served under her in the Home Office with responsibility for security and immigration.

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