Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jun 26th 2011 1:30PM by Stephen Dowling
Dave J Hogan, Getty Images
Glastonbury's atmosphere was dealt a blow on Sunday after news that one of the UK prime minister David Cameron's closest aides was found dead in a backstage toilet at the festival.
Christopher Shale, chairman of West Oxfordshire Conservative Association in the PM's Witney consituency, was found dead around 9:00BT backstage. Mr. Cameron said he was devastated at the loss, calling Shale "a close and valued friend -- a big rock in my life has suddenly been rolled away."
The 56-year-old's death was the first to be reported at this year's festival, which started on Thursday and has a capacity of more than 177,000, including artists and site workers.
The cause of Mr Shale's death is not yet known, but Britsh media reported suspicions he had succumbed to a heart attack.
Inspector Chris Morgan, of Avon and Somerset Police, said, "A male was found down by the press office in the toilet area.
"At the moment we are working to establish the cause of the gentleman's death." A postmortem examination will be held shortly.
The death comes during a relatively peaceful year for the festival. Minor scuffles broke out on Friday night, June 24, when protesters alleging U2's tax-dodging tried to disrupt the band's Pyramid Stage performance by erecting a balloon.