Labour MP Dawn Butler reveals breast cancer diagnosis after routine check up

Brent South MP Dawn Butler said she was taking time away from Parliament to recover from surgery

Labour MP Dawn Butler has revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer
Labour MP Dawn Butler has revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer

Labour MP Dawn Butler has revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer after going for a routine check up.

The 52-year-old said “everything stood still” when medics told her they had discovered cancerous cells during a mammogram in November.

Ms Butler said she was taking time off to recover from her recent surgery but early diagnosis means “it is something that I will get through and over”.

In a statement, she said: “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.

Labour MP Dawn Butler speaking in the Commons



“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.”

The Brent Central MP paid tribute to NHS staff, saying she had seen “first-hand how the NHS is under enormous pressure” when receiving treatment at the Royal London Hospital.

She added: “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.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted: “Dawn, your bravery, strength and determination shine through.

“I am sorry you’re going through this, but know that I, and the whole Party, are behind you.”

Ms Butler first became an MP in 2005 for Brent South and has represented her current seat since 2015.

She served on Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench as Shadow Equalities Secretary and ran to be Labour’s deputy leader in 2020.

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