Ex minister James Brokenshire today thanked his well-wishers for their ‘moving’ messages of support as he told about returning to Parliament after battling lung cancer.
Mr Brokenshire, who has never smoked, quit as Northern Ireland Secretary last month after doctors discovered a lesion on his lung.
The father-of-three had surgery to have part of his right lung removed and returned to the Commons last week after spending time at home with his family recuperating.
The Tory MP told how he was deeply touched at the sheer number of well wishers who flooded him with messages of support after his diagnosis was made public.
He said: ‘I feel remarkably well actually – very strong.’
James Brokenshire (pictured today) told of his battle with lug cancer during a TV interview after returning to Parliament last week following surgery
He added: ‘The first week back at Parliament was quite emotional – all the people coming up and giving you hugs.
‘It is interesting how something like this, from across the Conservative party – you may say its a unifying issue from Jacob Rees-Mogg to Nicky Morgan all those people coming up and welcoming you back.
‘But also very firmly Labour MPs, SNP MPs, Lib Dems – a real warmth
‘And it’s a rarity, as we know at times, where some of the political debate is very intense, to have that very warm reception. So I was very moved.’
Mr Brokenshire was politically elbow deep in trying to break the deadlock in Northern Ireland to bring back powersharing and in the Brexit talks when got the shock diagnosis.
He quit the frontbench to spend more time with his family and concentrate on his health as he battled the illness.
His departure, coming so soon after Sir Michael Fallon and Damian Green were forced out of the Cabinet over sexual harassment claims, mean Theresa May had to embark on her botched reshuffle.
Hopes the shake-up would rejuvenate the beleaguered Government were quickly dashed as several ministers refused to be budged, leaving much of her top team unchanged.
Former Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire thanked his many well-wishers for their ‘moving’ messages of support as he told about returning to Parliament after battling lung cancer (pictured earlier this month surrounded by cards)
The married father-of-three underwent lung surgery six weeks ago and has been on a fitness regime of long walks.
He said: ‘It has been amazing, the number of people who have written in and emailed, wishing me well and wishing me on, whether they support my own party or not.
‘But just wanting me to do well.’
And he paid tribute to the care he received from NHS doctors and nurses, which he said was faultless.
He said: ‘The care and support I received from NHS staff was absolutely outstanding I could not fault the hospital treatment I received.’
Mr Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, said he has been concentrating on his health and getting fit ‘forcing myself to do lots of exercise, lots of walks’.
And he said his wife Cathy and their children have been a huge ‘support behind me as well’.
Mr Brokenshire (pictured earlier this month) was politically elbow deep in trying to break the deadlock in Northern Ireland to bring back powersharing and in the Brexit talks when got the shock diagnosis.
Mr Brokenshire said he is feeling ‘positive’ and his ‘prognosis is good’ and said he was ‘lucky’ to have caught his cancer early in.
But he warned that there is still a lot of stigma around lung cancer and people can assume everyone with it is a smoker who brought it upon themselves.
He said: ‘It has underlined to me a number of issues around lung cancer as I had a small cancerous tumour.
‘There is some stigma around this -about 15 per cent of cases of lung cancer have no link to smoking.
‘I think some people try to form judgements that it is somehow someone’s fault – they shouldn’t do that at all about cancer
‘It is about early intervention, picking it up, following it through.
‘There were many moments when I could have said I am too busy to do this – but through getting the treatment I needed I am delighted to be hear and feeling as strong as I am.’