Father of UK Prime Minister David Cameron dies in France shortly leader arrives

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Father of UK Prime Minister Cameron dies in France

LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron’s office says the leader’s father has died after suffering a stroke in France.

Cameron flew to France on Wednesday after his father suffered a stroke while on vacation.

Cameron’s spokesman Steve Field says Ian Cameron died Wednesday afternoon shortly after his son arrived.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

TOULON, France (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron unexpectedly flew to France on Wednesday after his father suffered a stroke while on vacation, the leader’s office said.

Cameron, who returned to work Tuesday following the birth of a daughter, missed his first question session with lawmakers since Parliament resumed after a summer break.

In a statement Wednesday, Cameron’s office said the leader had been told his 77-year-old father had “a stroke and heart complications while on holiday in France.”

An official with the Font-Pre Hospital in Toulon, on the French Riviera, confirmed that Ian Cameron was admitted to the hospital there Wednesday morning.

The official, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said French law prevented him from providing any details about Cameron’s condition.

Cameron’s spokesman Steve Field said Cameron’s father and his wife, Mary, had been vacationing in southern France.

Field said Cameron was not accompanied by his wife or children, but that other family members were traveling to France.

Cameron’s father Ian, a retired stockbroker, had previously had both of his legs amputated and uses a wheelchair.

In an interview before Britain’s election in May, Cameron described his father’s refusal to allow his disability to impede his life.

“My father is a huge hero figure for me. He’s an amazingly brave man because he was born with no heels — quite a disability,” Cameron told ITV television. “I think I got my sense of optimism from him”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg stood in for the 43-year-old Cameron at the House of Commons questions session, the weekly showdown that offers lawmakers the chance to address the premier directly.

“We wish him, his father and their family all our best wishes at this difficult time,” Clegg told lawmakers.

Cameron and his wife Samantha’s fourth child — Florence Rose Endellion Cameron — was born Aug. 24. The family have two other children, Elwen and Nancy. Their eldest son Ivan, who had epilepsy and cerebral palsy, died last year aged 6.

Stringer reported from London.

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