Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert diagnosed with Bell’s palsy

steve gilbertOur sympathies and best wishes to Stephen Gilbert, Lib Dem MP for St Austell and Newquay, who put out the following statement on his website this week:

Stephen Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for St Austell & Newquay has been diagnosed with “Bell’s Palsy”; a viral infection of the facial nerve that has led to temporary paralysis of the muscles in the right-hand side of his face.

Stephen was diagnosed on Wednesday 5th February 2014 at the Accident & Emergency department of St Thomas’ Hospital in London, following the sudden development of the condition overnight. There is no known cause of “Bell’s Palsy”, which affects 1 in 5,000 people in the UK.

Mr Gilbert is receiving on-going medical treatment from St Thomas’ Hospital and his GP in St Austell, Cornwall. The relatively common condition, which can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, has made it more difficult for the MP to speak and smile for the time being. In most cases, the condition is temporary and full muscle control returns within a few months.

Mr Gilbert discharged himself from St Thomas’ hospital that evening to lead a debate in the House of Commons on job losses within the china clay industry in his constituency and is carrying out his Parliamentary and constituency duties as normal.

Your patience and understanding at this time, whilst Stephen recovers from the condition, would be most welcome.

Commenting the St Austell & Newquay MP said:

“I would like to thank the wonderful NHS doctors, nurses and staff at St Thomas’ Hospital for the excellent level of care and attention that I’m receiving. Like other people affected by this condition it does make daily life a bit tougher but I am determined to continue to carry out my responsibilities to my constituents in Parliament and I am hopeful of making a full and speedy recovery.”

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  • Good luck to Stephen Gilbert in overcoming this. It must have been an unpleasant and worrying shock to have this happen out of the blue. It is a credit to him that despite everything he went straight on from hospital to speak up in the Commons on behalf of the china clay workers in his constituency. I hope he is back to full health soon.

    Mind you, after Wythenshawe, he is probably not the only Liberal Democrat who will find it more difficult to smile for the time being.

  • Stephen came to Devon&Cornwall and Western Counties Joint Regional Conference lat weekend to introduce Maajid Nawaz as the guest speaker at our Gala Dinner. Stephen was brilliant to go to such an effort for us and we were very pleased to see him.

  • Dear Stephen – all the best. We are praying for a prompt and full recovery. Thanks for being so open.

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