LEADING politicians have expressed their good wishes to James Brokenshire on his announcement that he will be taking a leave of absence as the UK Government’s Security Minister after doctors found a recurrence of a tumour in his right lung.

The 53-year-old father-of-three, who represents Old Bexley and Sidcup in south east London, previously stood down from his role as Northern Ireland Secretary in January 2018 to undergo surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his right lung.

This morning, he tweeted: “Frustratingly, have a recurrence of a tumour in one part of my right lung. Taking leave for curative surgery. In good hands with the fantastic #NHS team who’ve been looking after me. Keeping positive and blessed to have the love of Cathy & the kids to support me through this.”

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, posted: “Saddened to hear this news. All my thoughts and prayers are with James and his family during this time. All colleagues across government send James our love and best wishes and we look forward to having him back soon.”

Matt Hancock, England’s Health Secretary, tweeted: “So sorry to hear this James. Sending my best wishes for a speedy recovery.”

Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, said she was “very sorry” to hear about Mr Brokenshire’s illness.

“We will be thinking about you and the family. Best wishes. Look forward to seeing you back at the XO (EU exit operations) meetings,” she tweeted.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, also took to social media, saying: “Wishing you all the best for your treatment, James. Get well soon.”