Cameron sent condolences after father's death

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Political allies and opponents have sent their condolences to David Cameron after the sudden death of his father.

The Prime Minister rushed to 77-year-old Ian Cameron's bedside after he suffered a stroke while on holiday in France.

Only the intervention of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who arranged a helicopter to the hospital in Toulon, allowed Mr Cameron to see his father before he passed away.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who stood in to field questions in the Commons, expressed his sympathy.

"Despite the sadness of today, I am very glad that David's father lived to see him become Prime Minister and that David was able to be at his father's side at the end," he said.

Mr Cameron's mother Mary telephoned 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 at 9.30am 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, who was delivered by the PM's wife Samantha last month.

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

A Labour Party spokeswoman said acting leader Harriet Harman had sent her condolences to Mr Cameron and his family. A spokesman for Gordon Brown said the former prime minister had also written to express his condolences.