Cameron mourns passing of father

Cameron mourns passing of father

British Prime Minister David Cameron was today in France, following the sudden death of his father Ian yesterday.

Mr Cameron rushed to his 77-year-old father's bedside in hospital in the Mediterranean port of Toulon after he suffered a stroke while on holiday yesterday.

The Prime Minister was able to see his father before he died, thanks to the intervention of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who arranged a helicopter from Nice airport to the hospital.

Mr Sarkozy also arranged for Mr Cameron to stay overnight in France, but Downing Street have not yet released details of how long the premier will stay before returning to the UK.

Condolences were offered to the Cameron family by politicians on all sides of the House of Commons, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Labour's acting leader Harriet Harman and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Cameron's mother Mary telephoned at around 6am yesterday to alert him to the situation, which arose as the couple were halfway through a two-week holiday.

After speaking to local doctors about his father's condition, the premier took a commercial flight from London's City Airport, accompanied by brother Alex and sister Clare.

Mr Cameron was said to be "relieved" to have been at the bedside, and "pleased" that his father died peacefully during a "happy family holiday".

Friends said Ian Cameron was "proud" to see his son become Prime Minister and had visited both 10 Downing Street and Chequers.

However, the family's various holiday plans meant he had not met his latest granddaughter Florence.

Mr Cameron previously described his father as a "huge hero figure" and praised his optimism.

Ian Cameron was born with both legs deformed and endured repeated operations in an attempt to straighten them and ease his pain.

However, despite his disability, he forged a successful career as a stockbroker.

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