Cameron to tend to sick dad

2010-09-08 15:46
London - 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 on Tuesday following the birth of a daughter, missed his first question session with lawmakers since Parliament resumed after a summer break.

In a statement on 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".

Cameron's spokesperson Steve Field declined to specify exactly where in France Cameron's father Ian was being treated.

He said only that Cameron's father and his wife, Mary, had been in southern France.

"He found out this morning," Field said. "I think there was a phone call from his mother. He has since spoken to doctors in France about his father's condition and decided that he needs to go and see him."

Field said Cameron was not accompanied by his wife or children, but that his brother and sisters were also travelling to France to be at their father's side.

Legs amputated

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

In an interview before Britain's May election, 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 wife Samantha's fourth child - Florence Rose Endellion Cameron - was born on August 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.
 

Read more on:    david cameron  |  nick clegg  |  uk  |  france

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