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Friday, June 4, 1999 Published at 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK

UK Politics

Alan Clark has tumour surgery

Alan Clark: Brain tumour removed at the weekend

The former minister and diarist Alan Clark has undergone an operation to remove a brain tumour.

The Kensington and Chelsea MP issued a statement revealing the surgery had been carried out on Monday at King's College Hospital, London.

The BBC's Adam Brimelow: "Alan Clark is one of the best known characters of Westminster"
Mr Clark said he realised he was ill at the weekend at the family home at Saltwood Castle in Kent.

"If I can comport myself with the dignity and competence of Ms Mo Mowlam I shall be very satisfied," he said in the statement.

He added that he had cancelled all his engagements for the next three months.

[ image: The MP's relationship with the Harkess family provoked fascination]
The MP's relationship with the Harkess family provoked fascination
Mr Clark held the posts of trade minister, employment minister and defence minister under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

But it was the publication of his diaries during a period out of politics when he become perhaps best known.

His disclosure that he had relationships with the wife of a judge and both their two daughters added to his reputation as a raffish and outspoken philanderer.

Besides his diaries, he has also written a number of well-regarded books on military history.

Having attended both Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, the wealthy Mr Clark appears in many ways an archetypal traditional Conservative.

But he has consistently pursued his own logic throughout a myriad of political debates.

A committed vegetarian, he opposes fox hunting. During the Kosovo conflict, he has vigorously opposed the Nato bombing speaking in many debates in Parliament.

Mr Clark left Parliament before the 1992 general election, giving up the seat of Plymouth South.

He regretted the decision, however, and was re-elected five years later at the age of 71 in the safe Kensington and Chelsea constituency.

He lives with his wife Caroline Jane.

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