Former UK Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has revealed that he has undergone lung surgery.
The UK Conservative MP made the announcement on Twitter, less than two weeks after stepping down from the Cabinet post on medical grounds.
In his resignation letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May he said he required an operation to remove a small lesion in his right lung.
Posting a picture of himself in hospital, the 50-year-old Old Bexley and Sidcup MP wrote:
Discharged from hospital this morning after my lung surgery. The #NHS doctors, nurses and support staff were absolutely outstanding and I could not have been in better hands. One hard step done but now the steady recovery and recuperation ahead. Will be taking things steadily. pic.twitter.com/H1zlNfrqMO— James Brokenshire (@JBrokenshire) January 20, 2018
He received messages of support from British MPs including Cheryl Gillan, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Guy Opperman, and Ms May’s ex-MP chief of staff Gavin Barwell.
Mr Brokenshire had used Twitter to reveal on Tuesday that he was due to have the surgery in upcoming days.
Has been a difficult 2018 so far with obvious challenges to come in the days and weeks ahead. Have been strengthened by my wonderful family & after all the kind and humbling comments from so many people thought I would share some of my experience before the op #Keepingpositive https://t.co/aajTprvmhx— James Brokenshire (@JBrokenshire) January 16, 2018
Stepping down from the Government on January 8, Mr Brokenshire said the surgery would mean he could not give the "effort, energy and complete focus" needed for the Northern Ireland post, which was filled by Karen Bradley.
Efforts to restore the powersharing administration in Northern Ireland and the impact of Brexit on Ireland mean that the role is demanding and sensitive and Mr Brokenshire said he had hoped to lead the "essential work with renewed intent" before his diagnosis.
In his letter to Ms May he said: "I recognise that this comes at an important moment for politics in Northern Ireland."
Mr Brokenshire, 50, said he had been informed about the lesion "in the last few days" after a series of tests in recent weeks.
The Prime Minister appeared to hold out the prospect of a return to government for Mr Brokenshire, who had previously served under her in the Home Office with responsibility for security and immigration.
PA and Digital desk