A source told the New York Post: "He has been suffering from cancer and he had a relapse. He wasn’t depressed, he was a lovely guy. On Sundays everyone went to his house, there would be the guy who worked in his local restaurant sitting by the pool by Michael Caine".
Another source told the newspaper: "He had been in the hospital earlier this summer, in the past few months, and he had been recuperating. The official story was it was a hip operation, but people suspected he underwent another cancer operation".
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Labour strongholds tended to remain so - apart from a major loss for the party in Dudley.
Labour suffered a "terrible" defeat in Rhondda but has already won 16 Welsh Assembly seats as it looks to record a fifth term in office.
UKIP have made further gains in the local elections in the Anglia region and the Conservatives have won back control in Peterborough.