UK Politics

Sion Simon's kidney donation to Labour MP Khalid Mahmood

Khalid Mahmood and Sion Simon Image copyright Daily Mirror
Image caption Khalid Mahmood (left) said he was "hugely indebted" to Sion Simon for donating his kidney

A prominent Labour politician donated a kidney to one of the party's MPs, it has been revealed.

Khalid Mahmood had previously refused to say who had given him the life-saving donation in 2014.

But now the donor has been identified as MEP Sion Simon, a former MP and minister and Labour's candidate in this year's West Midlands mayoral election.

In a joint interview with the Daily Mirror, Mr Mahmood said he was "hugely indebted" to his party colleague.

"It meant being able to live a normal life, which was getting increasingly difficult," the MP for Birmingham Perry Barr said, adding: "Essentially what Sion did for me, a huge sacrifice on his part, ended up allowing me to have a normal life again."

Mr Simon told the Mirror deciding to become a "living donor" had not been a "terribly difficult decision".

"He was in a very bad way, he needed a kidney," he said.

"It became obvious that he wasn't going to get one from anywhere else, so it was a relatively easy decision, and I would urge anyone else who has got the opportunity - it's actually not as a big a deal as you might think."

Mr Mahmood discovered he had chronic kidney failure in 2008 and had to spend four hours a day on dialysis.

Speaking to the BBC in 2014 as he prepared to go back to work after the operation, he said he was "at a loss to find the words to say thank you" to the donor - but would not reveal their identity.