James Brokenshire resigns: Tory minister forced to stand down as he battles cancer

Cancer: Karol Sikora outlines 'most persistent symptoms'

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The MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup wrote to the Prime Minister this morning to say his recovery was “taking longer than anticipated”. It is the second time cancer has forced him to step back from public duties.

Mr Brokenshire was first elected to parliament in 2005 and under David Cameron’s leadership was seen as an up and coming minister, serving as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime Reduction, immigration minister and security minister.

When Theresa May became Prime Minister in July 206 he was promoted to the Cabinet, serving as the Northern Ireland Secretary.

However, just 18 months later he was forced to stand down due to the need to undergo an operation to treat his lung cancer.

He returned to the Cabinet as Housing Secretary a year later in April 2018 after making a successful recovery.

When Mr Johnson took office he was moved over to the security brief he had previously held in the coalition Government.

He submitted his resignation letter this morning saying that a recurrence of the cancer meant he was unable to fully fulfill his duties.

“My recovery from treatment and return to full duties is taking longer than anticipated,” he said in his resignation letter to the Prime Minister.

“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.

“It has been an honour to serve as a Minister in your Government and to have had the chance to work again alongside our police, security and intelligence agencies whose tireless efforts keep us all safe.”

He paid tribute to the support of Priti Patel during his recovery from the illness and said indicated he wanted to once again return to front-line politics if his condition allowed.

He wrote: “I want to thank the Home Secretary for her support. She has been a pleasure to work with and her personal kindness and encouragement during this recent period has meant a great deal.

“Thank you for providing this opportunity to serve the public. I hope to be able to serve again in some way in the future.”

Mr Johnson said he was “very sorry” to have received the resignation letter as he wished the MP his “best wishes for a speedy return to full health”.

He wrote: “I fully support your decision to focus on your recovery.

“You should be immensely proud of what you have achieved in this Government – not just in the Home Office, but also in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Northern Ireland Office.

“In all your roles you have shown tireless dedication to improving the lives of others, particularly addressing some of the most challenging issues that face us as a country.

“I understand entirely your need to step down from your role but look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible.”

More to follow…

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