BBC political editor Nick Robinson
BBC political editor Nick Robinson Danny Martindale / Getty Images

The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, will undergo surgery to have a tumour removed from his lung, the organisation announced on Saturday.

Robinson, 51, will take some time off to recover after the bronchial carcinoid tumour is removed, but the BBC says he aims to return to work before the UK's General Election in May.

"His doctors are aiming to get him back at work in plenty of time to cover the election campaign proper," Robinson's agent said. "He and his family have asked that they now have the space and privacy he needs in order to rest and recover fully before returning to work."

Robinson, who is married with three children, has led the BBC's Westminster coverage since 2005, having joined the BBC as a trainee producer in 1986. He left the broadcaster to move to ITV for a short period.

According to Cancer Research UK's website, carcinoid tumours are rare and tend to be slow growing. They may not cause symptoms for several years, and around 25% start in the lung.