Labour’s Dawn Butler flooded with messages of support after revealing breast cancer diagnosis

Labour’s Dawn Butler flooded with messages of support after revealing breast cancer diagnosis

Related video: Dawn Butler calls out Boris Johnson racism during panel debate

BBC Politics Live

Dawn Butler, the Labour MP for Brent Central, has received an outpouring of supportive messages after she revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer in November.

Ms Butler, a former shadow secretary for women and equalities, shared the news on her website and social media channels on Monday morning.

She said: “Back in early November, I attended a routine mammogram and a few weeks later the hospital informed me that they had identified breast cancer cells at a very early stage.

“Of course, everything stood still as it does when you hear the dreaded C-word – it is a shock but an early diagnosis means that it is something that I will get through and over. The NHS has caught my cancer early, the operation was a complete success, and I will make a full recovery.

“However, I now have to take time off work for my recovery. Everyone who knows me knows that I am a workaholic and I love what I do, but unless I listen to medical advice and recover well, I will not be able to give my best.

“I would like to thank parliament, the Labour Party, local members and my team for their support throughout.”

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Ms Butler went on to add she hopes the recovery “won’t take too long”, and that staff will “continue to support constituents” in her absence.

She continued: “I want to end my statement by thanking the NHS and everyone who is soldiering through. I have seen first-hand how the NHS is under enormous pressure.

“The Royal London seemed full, people were waiting on chairs in A&E for beds, the staff were exhausted in the NHS and many were suffering from PTSD.

“Covid-19 has taken a lot out of them. So many people have missed appointments (many through no fault of their own), results are delayed and operations postponed.

“If we are to show our appreciation for the amazing NHS workers and rebuild our health service then we need to properly invest in the NHS, both structurally and in the very people who keep it functioning.”

Ms Butler has since been met with hundreds of well wishes online, including from Sadiq Khan and Sir Keir Starmer.

The Mayor of London tweeted: “Sending my friend Dawn my very best wishes for a speedy recovery.

“Dawn is the best of @UKLabour, and I look forward to seeing her back in action soon.”

Meanwhile the Labour leader wrote: “Dawn, your bravery, strength and determination shine through. I am sorry you are going through this, but know that I, and the whole Party, are behind you.”

Others have also shown their support:

Ms Butler issued the statement before an interview with the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire, in which she said the mammogram “saved my life”.

The MP is now urging all women to go to the screening as soon as they are invited to do so.

“There will be women who will die if their breast cancer is not discovered, and needlessly so,” she said.

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