POLITICS
27/07/2021 12:00 BST | Updated 27/07/2021 12:02 BST

Labour's Wes Streeting Returns To Frontline Politics After Cancer All-Clear

Shadow child poverty minister back on frontbench duty

Stefan Rousseau - PA Images via Getty Images

Labour’s Wes Streeting has returned to frontbench duties after being given the all-clear by cancer doctors.

The Ilford North MP revealed in May that he would be stepping back from frontline politics while he underwent treatment for kidney cancer.

Streeting, seen as one of the party’s rising stars, was promoted to the shadow cabinet just one week earlier by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer as shadow secretary of state for child poverty.

But the 38-year-old confirmed on Tuesday that his operation to remove his kidney was successful and that he is feeling well enough to return to work.

In a new video posted on social media, Streeting thanked NHS staff at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London, for supporting him through his treatment.

He also praised Ilford’s King George and Queen’s Hospitals for detecting the “cancer really early”, after he went into hospital for a check on a kidney stone.

“Without that early action the conversation we would be having might be a very different one,” he said.

“So, 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.

“You’ll be hearing lots more from me in the coming days, weeks and months and I can’t wait to get cracking.”

A former president of the National Union of Students (NUS), Streeting was an outspoken critic of former leader Jeremy Corbyn over his failure to tackle antisemitism in the party.

During Labour’s leadership race last year, he wrote a pamphlet in which he warned that if the party continued “Corbynism without Corbyn” it risked disappearing from the political map.

“The next leader of the Labour party needs to hit a big reset button and to do so loudly enough that the voters notice,” he wrote in the Fabian Society paper.

Streeting was originally campaign manager for Jess Phillips before she dropped out of the leadership contest, and later backed Starmer.

He was one of the shadow ministers who toured the broadcast studios to defend Starmer following Labour’s poor showing during the “Super Thursday” local elections in May.