ANNE Snelgrove, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for South Swindon, will temporarily put her campaign on hold for several months this year to undergo a course of treatment for cervical cancer.

The former MP said she would be unavailable to constituents and the media from Friday until about early January due to the possible side-effects of the treatment, so Swindon North running mate Mark Dempsey would be the point of contact.

The Labour Party says that Ms Snelgrove’s sole priority at the moment is getting well. But her position as prospective candidate is unaffected and it is premature to consider any impact on her role until her treatment plan is completed.

She said: “Sadly I have to report that the cancer I first had 15 years ago has returned. About four weeks ago I noticed something wrong and immediately went to my doctor – there was only one sign and it has not been repeated. “Ironically I feel very well. However, tests showed a return of cervical cancer. I start treatment on October 22 and this will continue until early December.

“Fortunately the cancer has not spread and the treatment plan is designed to cure me. Clearly I will not know whether the treatment has been successful until a few months after it has finished, but I have already had the most wonderful care from the NHS that anyone could wish for.

“It is a worrying time and I am apprehensive about the treatment, but I am thankful for the support of my family and friends, including those in the Labour Party.

“I would like to urge anyone who has noticed something out of the ordinary about their health to seek medical attention as soon as possible.”

Explaining her decision to suspend her campaign, she added: “From all I understand about the treatment, it’s going to make me really tired and I think it’s probably going to affect my judgement, and I think where judgement is concerned, it’s really important in politics.

“Mark Dempsey is around now, thank goodness, so he can carry the flame a bit.”

Mr Dempsey said: “Anne has so many friends in the Labour Party, both in Swindon and across the country; and all our thoughts are with her and her family at this difficult time.”