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Cameron mourns 'hero figure' father

Prime Minister David Cameron is in France following the sudden death of his father Ian on Wednesday.

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.

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 on Wednesday 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.


From Belfast Telegraph