Lib Dem mayoral candidate reveals cancer battle

Rob Blackie has been successfully treated for cancer at St Guy’s Hospital, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Rob Blackie with his wife Tam, after completing his cancer treatment at Guy\'s Hospital. Credit: Liberal Democrats
Rob Blackie with wife Tam after completing his cancer treatment (credit Liberal Democrats)

The Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor has revealed that he has been successfully treated for cancer.

The party’s City Hall contender Rob Blackie on Tuesday (5th) said he had made his last trip to Guy’s Hospital in South London, having completed a course of scans and immunotherapy transfusions.

Blackie had been receiving the treatment every six weeks since having his left kidney removed in February 2023, after tests revealed it was cancerous.

The candidate said: “Finally completing the treatment is wonderful. I am very grateful to the team here [at Guy’s Hospital] and the incredible advances in medical science. I am also thankful for having the love and support of my wife and two children, who have been brilliant.

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“Immunotherapy basically turns your immune system up to eleven. I had minimal side effects, so it hasn’t really impacted my life.

“But I’m aware that many people are not as fortunate, which is why I back the Liberal Democrat policy of a legal guarantee for cancer patients to start treatment within two months of an urgent referral. Currently 40% of patients wait longer than 62 days, which is far too long. We must do better.”

Blackie has previously been dubbed the “bionic man” after doctors inserted titanium into his neck to support his head, following injuries sustained in a violent mugging in 2003.

He is not the only candidate in the upcoming London mayoral election to have had medical concerns in recent years. Labour mayor Sadiq Khan, who is running for an historic third term at City Hall, revealed in his book Breathe that he suffered a suspected “minor heart attack” at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in 2021.

The mayor’s aides said after the book’s publication that the mayor was “in rude health” and not on heart-related medication as a result of the health scare, but they confirmed he was having regular check-ups.

The City Hall election will be held on 2nd May.

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