MP Owen Paterson breaks his back in riding accident

Owen Paterson
Image caption MP Owen Paterson was riding on Saturday when he fell from his horse

A Conservative MP has broken his back in a riding accident.

Owen Paterson, MP for north Shropshire, was out riding on Saturday when he fell from his horse, breaking three vertebrae.

He is in hospital in Gobowen, Shropshire, and has been told he needs total bed rest.

Mr Paterson said he feels "lucky to be alive" and is still able to work while being treated, but won't be returning to London for "at least this week".

The MP was initially taken to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and then transferred to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, in his constituency, where his injury was diagnosed.

The BBC understands Mr Paterson could be off for 12 weeks after the accident.

Speaking from hospital on Monday night, Mr Paterson said: "The horse landed on my head."

He added that he feels "quite rough and lucky to be alive".

Chris Schofield, chairman of the North Shropshire Conservative Association, said: "We wish him a speedy recovery".

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