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Thursday, 7 February, 2002, 14:10 GMT
Cancer treatment for Sir David
Sir David Steel
Sir David: Cutting his workload
Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Sir David Steel is cutting his workload while he receives treatment for cancer.

He will not chair any further parliamentary sessions until the end of the month, though he will continue to deal with paperwork.

Sir David is three quarters of the way through a four week course of radiotherapy for prostate cancer and is now beginning to feel the side effects.

He has received a letter from the Queen, who offered her "warm good wishes for a speedy recovery."

Early retirement

The veteran Liberal Democrat politician underwent initial tests in April 2001 after a routine blood sample suggested an abnormality, but was given the all-clear.

He underwent further tests in June, which found traces of the cancer.

Sir David, who carries the title Lord Steel of Aikwood, is the former leader of the Liberal Party and came out of early retirement to stand for the Scottish Parliament as a list MSP for the Lothians in 1999.

He has said that he intends to step down at the next Holyrood elections, which will take place in 2003.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in British men after lung cancer with around 1,700 new cases diagnosed each year.

See also:

01 Jun 01 | Scotland
Sir David Steel faces cancer surgery
14 Apr 01 | Scotland
Sir David Steel in cancer scare
06 Sep 99 | Scotland
Tabloid bites back at Steel
25 Aug 99 | Scotland
Steel shows his mettle
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