Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

PM devastated at Glastonbury death

A close friend of the Prime Minister has been found dead in mysterious circumstances at Glastonbury Festival.

Senior Tory Christopher Shale, 56, was discovered slumped in a portable toilet in a backstage VIP area.

David Cameron said he was "devastated" as he described his constituency chairman as a valued friend and a "big rock" in his life.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "The results of the post-mortem combined with the inquiries conducted into the circumstances surrounding the death indicate it is not suspicious." Further tests will be carried out to determine how Mr Shale died.

Festival founder Michael Eavis later expressed his "deepest sympathy" as a police probe was launched on 900-acre Worthy Farm.

Mr Shale, a father in his 50s, was staying with his family in a Winnebago surrounded by a host of celebrities and performers. The death came just hours after he was quoted in the Mail on Sunday bemoaning difficulties his party faces in recruiting new members.

Mr Cameron, the MP for Witney, said he and wife Samantha were great friends of Mr Shale's. "Sam and I were devastated to hear the news about Christopher," the Prime Minister said.

The West Oxfordshire Conservative Association chairman was "a great friend and has been a huge support over the last decade" in the constituency, Mr Cameron added. He said: "A big rock in my life has suddenly been rolled away."

A distraught woman, staying in the backstage area between the Pyramid and other stages, was seen being comforted by officers on Sunday morning. Police confirmed several relatives were present at the site.

Mr Shale was quoted in a Conservative strategy document leaked to the Sunday tabloid. Referring to Tory party membership, he was reported to have written: "No reason to join. Lots of reasons not to."


From Belfast Telegraph