British PM rushes to bedside of stricken father in France

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British Prime Minister David Cameron has flown to France after his father fell seriously ill on holiday, his Downing Street office said Wednesday.

"The Prime Minister was informed this morning that his father Ian is seriously ill after suffering a stroke and heart complications while on holiday in France," a spokesman said.

"After talking to doctors at the hospital, the Prime Minister has decided to fly to be with his father and mother Mary."

Downing Street said 77-year-old Ian Cameron was being treated somewhere in the south of France, and informed sources said he had been staying near the port of Toulon.

Ian Cameron was born with a condition that left his legs severely deformed from the knees downwards. In recent years, his lower legs have been amputated and he uses an electric wheelchair to get around.

The premier only returned to work this week after taking paternity leave following the birth of his fourth child, Florence Rose Endellion, on August 24.

Cameron's first child, Ivan, who had cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, died suddenly in February last year, aged six.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was to stand in for Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

© 2010 AFP

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