| 8.2°C Belfast

Politicians back James Brokenshire in new cancer battle


James Brokenshire

James Brokenshire

James Brokenshire

There have been messages of support from across Northern Ireland for former Secretary of State James Brokenshire, who is facing another cancer battle after a recurrence of a tumour in his lung.

The current Security Minister was diagnosed with cancer two years ago that required surgery to remove the upper lobe of his right lung.

But he said that, "frustratingly", the cancer had returned in the same lung and he will now take leave to undergo further surgery.

The Old Bexley and Sidcup MP said he was "in good hands" with the NHS team looking after him and was "keeping positive".

He said he was "blessed to have the love of his wife Cathy and three children to support me through this".

First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted that she was very sorry to hear about Mr Brokenshire's illness.

"We will be thinking about you and the family. Best wishes. Look forward to seeing you back at the XO (EU exit operations) meetings," the DUP leader said.

Appointed by Prime Minster Theresa May, Mr Brokenshire (53) replaced Theresa Villiers as Secretary of State and served in office from July 14, 2016 until January 8, 2018, when he was replaced by Karen Bradley after stepping down from the position due to his illness.

Among those sending wishes to Mr Brokenshire, Alliance Justice Minister Naomi Long took to Twitter to say: "Very sorry to hear this James. Wishing you a successful surgery and a speedy and full recovery. Take care and best wishes to your family."

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson added: "Thinking of you James. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. Hope all goes well."

And his DUP Westminster colleague Carla Lockhart said: "Best wishes as you battle this again."

UUP leader Steve Aiken also sent a message of support: "Really sorry to hear this, but you'll beat it. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers."

Former Secretary of State Julian Smith MP tweeted: "Really sorry you are having to deal with this - very, very best wishes and see you soon."

There was further support from Home Secretary Priti Patel, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Belfast Telegraph