Labour frontbencher ‘fighting fit’ after being declared cancer-free

Wes Streeting’s kidney cancer at 38 came as ‘enormous shock’

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Tuesday 27 July 2021 23:21

A rising star in Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet today announced he is back at work after successful treatment for kidney cancer.

Wes Streeting announced in May that he was taking time off from politics to undergo an operation for a lump on his kidney which was spotted in March and diagnosed as cancerous shortly afterwards.

In a video message, the 38-year-old MP for Ilford North declared that he is now “cancer-free” after treatment at north London’s Royal Free Hospital and can return to duties.

The shadow secretary of state for child poverty said that his cancer was discovered came when he had a scan in hospital for a suspected kidney stone, and came as “an enormous shock”.

In his video message, Mr Streeting said: “The sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day and I’m really pleased to let you know that I’m back at work, fighting fit and cancer-free.”

He said he “can’t wait to get cracking” and resuming his work as an MP, adding: “I just count my lucky stars really. I’ve lost a kidney but I’ve also got rid of the cancer.

“No chemotherapy, no radiotherapy. I’m just really lucky.

“So, I’m back, back in action here in Ilford North working for my constituents and back in action in Labour’s shadow cabinet too.”

Mr Streeting said he and his family received an “overwhelming” response from well-wishers after his diagnosis went public.

“The first thing I want to say, from the bottom of my heart, is a massive thankyou to everyone who got in touch – friends, family, colleagues but also loads of people I’ve never even met who were generous enough to share their stories about battling cancer generally and kidney cancer specifically, and gave me all sorts of words of encouragement at a time when they really mattered most,” he said.

“Of course, I also want to say, probably the biggest thanks of all to Ravi Barod, David Cullen and all of the NHS staff at the Royal Free Hospital, who supported me throughout my treatment. And also closer to home the NHS staff at King George and Queens Hospitals because they caught the cancer really early and without that early action the conversation would be having might be a very different one.”

Mr Streeting, a former president of the National Union of Students, is regarded as a staunch ally of Sir Keir.

He was an outspoken critic of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over his failure to tackle antisemitism in the party.

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