Hugh Gaitskell died at the Middlesex Hospital, London, reportedly of the rare disease lupus erythematosus, on 18th January 1963.
The BBC reported that a short statement was issued to journalists after his death that "Mr Gaitskell's heart condition deteriorated suddenly and he died peacefully".
"Mr Gaitskell became ill with flu in mid-December. A medical check-up showed he was fit to travel to the USSR on 1 January for talks with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and he appeared well over Christmas.
But immediately after the holiday he became ill with another virus and was admitted to hospital on 4 January.
Two days ago his condition deteriorated suddenly and it became clear his kidneys had been affected.
The night before his death, doctors attempted to treat Mr Gaitskell using a kidney dialysis machine.
A total of nine doctors and 40 other medical staff were involved in the operation to link up his body to the machine.Although initial results suggested there was some improvement in his condition, it was later felt the machine was putting too much strain on his already-weakened heart and he had to be taken off it again.
Virginia Allkins (sister of Gyles Brandreth MP) reported that "he didn’t die of pleurisy, as they said. It was kidney failure. I had to tell Harold Wilson and George Brown, the main contenders for the Labour leadership, that he was dead. They didn’t talk to one another. They walked away to start plotting."Anatoli Golitsyn stated that Gaitskell had been poisoned by the KGB. A senior figure in MI5, Peter Wright, explained in his biography Spycatcher
“I knew [Gaitskell] personally and admired him greatly. I had met him and his family at the Blackwater Sailing Club, and I recall about a month before he died he told me that he was going to Russia. After he died his doctor got in touch with MI5 and asked to see somebody from the Service. Arthur Martin, as the head of Russian Counterespionage, went to see him. The doctor explained that he was disturbed by the manner of Gaitskell's death. He said that Gaitskell had died of a disease called lupus disseminata, which attacks the body's organs. He said that it was rare in temperate climates and that there was no evidence that Gaitskell had been anywhere recently where he could have contracted the disease.”
Peter Wright, Paul Greengrass — 
A "Dr. Ladell", Porton Down disease specialist, later secretly reviewed Gaitskell’s death and concluded that he was indeed probably murdered.
Lupus erythematosus is rare in UK (affects < 0.01% of UK white males).
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|Bilderberg/1954||29 May 1954 - 31 May 1954||Hotel Bilderberg|
- The Bilderberg Group, August 1956, Józef Retinger
- Spycatcher pp. 362-363, paperback, Heinemann Australia, 1987 ISBN 0-85561-166-9
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