Daily Archives: June 26, 2011

Jim Pickard

David Cameron said he was “devastated” after the chairman of his local constituency was found dead in a portable toilet in a backstage area at the Glastonbury festival.

Police said they did not yet know the cause of death of Christopher Shale, a 56-year old businessman, although friends said there was a history of heart problems in his family.

Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury, earlier referred to a “suicide situation” in the early hours of Sunday morning. But a police source later said that the ongoing investigation had not found any suggestion of suicide.

Barry Norton, a councillor in West Oxfordshire, said the death had deprived the party of “a really great man”.

“He was absolutely in good health, we understand that his death has been as the result of a heart attack, that is the information we have,” he told Sky News. “There is a history of that in his family and anything to the contrary, at the moment, is totally scurrilous.”

The death came just hours after Mr Shale was quoted, in a Conservative strategy Read more >>

Jim Pickard

I’m told that the cabinet will meet in mid-July to make a final decision on whether to proceed with a badger cull in the south-west of England. For Caroline Spelman that could mark her third PR nightmare since Christmas.

First there was Forestry Commission sell-off, which David Cameron ruthlessly abandoned after an uprising by the general public. Read more >>

Jim Pickard

Michael Gove told the Andrew Marr Show this morning that he wouldn’t comment on potential action by the government against the unions, saying he had no wish to “ratchet up the rhetoric” against the movement. Not least when negotiations are still going on.

That comment sits slightly uneasily against his letter to schools calling on them to keep schools open by using the “wider school community”, ie parents. Read more >>