Glastonbury deceased was Cameron’s ‘rock’
By Alex Stevenson
David Cameron has paid tribute to the chairman of his local Tory party association, who was found dead in a toilet at the Glastonbury music festival this morning.
Fifty-six-year-old Christopher Shale had made a "massive contribution" both locally and nationally to the Conservative party, the prime minister said in a statement.
His body has been taken away from the Worthy Farm festival site in Pilton and a post-mortem will be conducted in due course.
Mr Cameron, who has been the MP for Witney in Oxfordshire since joining parliament in 2001, said: "Sam and I were devastated to hear the news about Christopher.
"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."
In a statement released this lunchtime Avon and Somerset police said officers were dealing with an "unexplained death" at the Glastonbury festival.
"At around 9am police were alerted to a body having been found in an inter-stage area of the festival site," the force said in a statement.
"Officers are currently working to establish the circumstances leading up to the man's death which at this stage is being treated as unexplained."
In a press conference reported by the NME, Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis said Mr Shale's death was a "suicide situation".
"I'm told it was a suicide situation in the early hours of this morning," he said.
"It was in the Winnebago area. It's very, very sad. I can't say too much about it."
The prime minister continued: "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.
"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."
Mr Cameron's link with his local constituency will be prominent in his mind after an event earlier this month.
On June 17th a garden party was held celebrating his ten-year anniversary as Witney's MP where, the association's website said, "David gave a speech explaining his deep ties to West Oxfordshire".
He told "various amusing stories from the past ten years" and thanked "all those who had supported him in his role as an MP".