Top policeman Sir Paul Stephenson off sick until May

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The Independent Online

Britain's most senior police officer will not be able to return to work until May after undergoing an emergency operation.

Surgeons successfully removed a pre-cancerous tumour from Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson's femur in an operation before Christmas.

But Scotland Yard said today that the growth caused further damage to the bone, which led to a fracture.

As a result, Sir Paul was admitted to hospital again last week and underwent a second "lengthy and complex" operation.

A Met spokesman said Sir Paul is expected to make a full recovery but remains in hospital as he recuperates.

The force will continue to be led by Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin in his absence.

He is being supported by Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who is responsible for specialist operations, including counter-terrorism.

The spokesman said: "Sir Paul is still in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

"However, this will require a lengthy period of recuperation and, on the strongest medical counsel, he has been advised not to return to work before mid-May."