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Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 17:05 UK

Cameron 'almost gave up politics when son Ivan died'

David Cameron on the death of his son Ivan - Clip courtesy ITV

Conservative leader David Cameron has admitted he almost gave up politics after his son Ivan died last year.

Mr Cameron thought "to hell with everything" after the death of the six-year-old, who suffered with epilepsy and cerebral palsy, he told ITV.

But he realised that, "bit-by-bit, you've got to get on with your life", he added.

His son's illness had given him an "enormous spiritual connection" to the NHS, Mr Cameron said.

'Great gift'

Asked if he felt like "packing it all in" after Ivan's death, Mr Cameron, whose wife Samantha is pregnant with the couple's fourth child, said: "Yeah, to start with I thought, 'To hell with everything'.

"You do, it's just such a shock you can't really come to terms with it to start with.

"But, bit by bit, you start to think, 'Well, I need to get on with my life'. And to me my life is politics, it's public service, it's what I do, it's being a Member of Parliament, it's wanting to make a difference. That's what I want to do."

Speaking to ITV1's Spotlight on the Leaders, Mr Cameron said: "Some people say to you, 'great things will come from this'.

"And the first person who says this to you, you actually want to thump them because you think, 'You have no idea how tough this is, looking after a child who can't walk or talk and has to have 24-hour care and is on huge amounts of medicines and has unbelievable, painful epileptic fits'.

"But after a while you do realise that it is a great gift and that this person is bringing great joy and happiness to your family."

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