The general secretary of the Labour Party has told colleagues she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will start treatment this week.
Jennie Formby said she will continue to work as much as she can, with the party’s executive directors ensuring “business as usual”.
She said in a message: “I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be starting my treatment this week. Although this news has come as a shock to me and my family, I feel so grateful that I have the access and support from our wonderful NHS.
“I’m incredibly lucky that we have an amazing teaching, research and women’s hospital in Southampton.
“Breast cancer has had so much investment that outcomes are really positive, but I know that other cancers have less funding for research and treatment and that access to such good cancer care isn’t the same all across the country.
“I feel pride that we are all working together for a Labour government that will change this.
“I will continue to work as much as I can. For those days when I can’t, the executive directors and my direct team will make sure everything carries on as usual.”
A Labour Party spokesman said: “Jennie Formby has told colleagues today that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be starting treatment this week.
“Jennie will continue to work as much as she can, but is taking a realistic approach towards her treatment.
“She has a strong management team and on days that she is unable to work, Labour Party executive directors and the general secretary’s direct team will ensure business as usual.
“The party is fully supporting Jennie through this period.”