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Labour’s first trans candidate to undergo heart surgery

Nick Duffy May 18, 2015

The first transgender candidate to stand for the Labour party has been admitted to hospital for heart surgery, less than a fortnight after she lost out on her seat.

Former Labour candidate Emily Brothers – who is blind and was a key figure in securing Disability Living Allowance for blind people – came out as transgender in an interview with PinkNews last year.

The ground-breaking candidate failed in her bid to be elected this month, receiving 11% of the vote in Sutton and Cheam, as the formerly Lib Dem seat fell to the Conservatives.

Despite not winning the seat, she increased the party’s support by 4.3% in the constituency compared to 2010.

Ms Brothers has today been admitted to St George’s Hospital, London for triple heart bypass surgery, after being diagnosed with Coronary Heart Disease.

She said: “I had been finding things increasingly difficult, but put that down to hard work and a loss of fitness.

“It was a routine health check that picked up a potential problem, leading to further investigations.

“That’s why it is so important for people to monitor their health and get checked out from time to time.

“I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, so don’t fit the typical profile of somebody with a serious heart condition.”

She added: “Just weeks after ‘coming out’ I found out about the seriousness of my condition. I felt a great sense of responsibility not to fail at the first hurdle.

“I did contemplate withdrawing from the election campaign – perhaps for a moment.

“My focus and drive isn’t very susceptible to diversion, so I pushed on with my sense of ambition and stuck at the task of representing the interests of hardworking and aspiring people.”

Ms Brothers continued: “My political opponents in Sutton need to understand that I’ll be back fitter than ever and ready to fight for a better future. I still have much to do in advancing the causes for which I feel passionate about, both locally and nationally.

“Whatever happens from here, I hope my political journey will prove a footprint for those who may follow.”

More: blind, disability, Emily Brothers, England, Equality, heart surgery, hospital, Labour, Labour party, LGBT, politician, sutton and cheam, Trans, Transgender

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