Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mystery death of Cameron's top Tory ally found in portable toilet at Glastonbury Festival's VIP area


Shock: Christopher Shale is believed to have died from a heart attack but the definite cause is unknown

Christopher Shale was chairman of the West Oxfordshire Conservative Association

Festival organiser Michael Eavis told it was 'a suicide situation'

Tory sources: Chairman died from a heart attack

David Cameron describes him as a 'big rock in my life' who has 'suddenly been rolled away'

Death came hours after it emerged Mr Shale had authored damning report saying 'there's no reason to join the party'

David Cameron's constituency chairman was found dead in a portable toilet in the VIP area at Glastonbury today.

Devastated: A private ambulance believed to be carrying the body of Mr Shale is driven out of the VIP backstage area at Glastonbury music festival

Christopher Shale, chairman of the West Oxfordshire Conservative Association, was discovered dead by police at around 9am.

The festival's host Michael Eavis said he was told by police it was 'a suicide situation'.

However, Tory party sources said they believed he had had a heart attack but the exact cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

Mr Eavis, 75, spoke of his sadness over the death during a press conference held earlier today.

Make way: Security lift up barriers so the private ambulance can leave the festival area

The farmer said: 'Apparently I'm told it was a suicide situation in the early hours of this morning. It was in the Winnebago area.

'It's very very sad - I can't say too much about it."

Mr Shale, who is married with children, had been staying at a luxury £10,000 Winnebago compound just yards away from top celebrities like Kate Moss.

It is understood his family was with him. A distraught woman wrapped in a blanket - believed to be his wife Nikki - was comforted by police at the scene. Two teenage boys were also at the scene.

VIP: The Pyramid Arena, where a number of celebrities have been staying, is closed off by police

Inspector Chris Morgan, from Avon and Somerset police, refused to confirm or deny that the victim had committed suicide.

He said: 'We are not [officially] naming the gentleman at this moment because we believe there are members of the family that have not been told.

'I am aware that there has been some speculation that the gentleman has committed suicide. We are not saying that at this time.

Cordon: The body was found in a luxury Winnebago by a worker this morning

Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis speaks to the media this morning after Christopher Shale was found dead in a toilet

'We are still working on establishing a cause of death at this very early stage.

'We believe the alarm was raised by a member of staff who was working on the site.

'There are some family members here now but I believe there are other family members who have yet to be informed.'

David Cameron has already released a statement in which he described Mr Shale as 'truly generous'.

'Sam and I were devastated to hear the news about Christopher,' he said.

'He was a great friend and has been a huge support over the last decade in west Oxfordshire. A big rock in my life has suddenly been rolled away.

Thousands watch on the Park Stage where Pulp were performing yesterday. More than 137,000 people will attend the festival this weekend

'Christopher was one of the most truly generous people I've ever met - he was always giving to others, his time, his help, his enthusiasm and above all his love of life. It was in that spirit that he made a massive contribution to the Conservative Party both locally and nationally.

'Our love and prayers are with Nikki and the family. They've lost an amazing dad, west Oxfordshire has lost a big and wonderful man and like so many others Sam and I have lost a close and valued friend.'

A police cordon, guarded by at least eight officers, was put up around the backstage shower and toilet area as an investigation into the death of the 55-year-old got under way.

The camping area where festival production teams and some performers stay was also blocked off.

A host of celebrities were closed within the cordoned off area. Wayne and Coleen Rooney were understood to have been camping in a nearby luxury RV.

Mr Shale was believed to have been staying in a Winnebago next to the Times columnist Caitlin Moran.

David and Samantha Cameron were close friends of Mr Shale, the Prime Minister said today. Right, a policeman takes notes as an investigation is launched in the VIP area at the Glastonbury site

Coldplay perform on the pyramid stage last night hours before the senior Conservative was discovered dead

The writer tweeted: 'Woke up to find the man in the Winnebago next to us died. Bit of a grime start to the morning.'

Revellers reacted with shock as they were told the area was 'a crime scene'.
Tom Waite, 35, from Cheddar, was among those staying in the VIP area. He said: 'It's just awful for his family.'

The Mail on Sunday today revealed how Shale had made a scathing attack against the Conservative party and the difficulties it faces in trying to recruit new candidates.

In a strategy document, seen by the paper, he said: 'There's no reason to join [the party]. Lot's of reasons not to.'

In a sign of how hard the party is finding it to attract new members, the document concedes that the Prime Minister’s own association gained only 22 members in the past year.

Security had already been heightened at Glastonbury in the area where Mr Shale was found dead for the arrival of American megastar Beyonce.

source : dailymail

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