MP diagnosed with breast cancer returns to work

Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire giving winning speech after the results are given in the Bristol West General Election 2015. Credit: PA / Ben Burchill

She won her seat at the last election - but within weeks discovered she had breast cancer. Today, after eight months of intensive treatment, Thangam Debbonaire, Labour MP for Bristol West, returned to the House of Commons to a welcome from fellow members.

For one time professional musician, turned MP Thangam, it's been an uplifting way of helping her through treatment for breast cancer - and now, preparing to return to Parliament.>It was shortly after winning Bristol West for Labour at last May's election that she discovered a five centimetre lump in her breast.

She's been through chemotherapy, surgery, reconstruction and radiotherapy but she's back to attend her first Parliamentary debate since last June.

During her absence, she was made one of Labour's shadow culture ministers . Credit: ITV West Country

As she took her seat, she was welcomed back, not just by Labour colleagues but Conservative minster, Michael Gove.

We're all delighted to see the member for Bristol West back in her place, and fully recovered I hope - and we look forward to having her play a prominent part in the future, she's a real asset to the house.

Michael Gove MP
Thangam in Parliament today after an 8-month absence. Credit: ITV West Country

Back in Bristol, she'll have less time for her cello. >During her absence, she was made one of Labour's shadow culture ministers. Now, she tells ITV News that she intends to campaign for an in vote in Europe, chair a committee on refugees, and of course raise greater awareness of breast cancer.