“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.

I would like to reassure people that my office remains functioning in my absence; my dedicated staff will continue to support constituents, make representations and will still hold regular surgery appointments. If you live in Brent Central and need advice or support, you can continue to contact me via: dawn.butler.mp@parliament.uk and 020 7219 8591.

Hopefully, my recovery won’t take too long. But in the meantime, please bear with me and thank you very much in advance for your support.

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.”

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