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The BBC's Jane Peel
"The Blairs will have to go the station with their son"
 real 28k

The BBC's Robin Oakley
"His parents have been described... as strict disciplinarians"
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Chief Secretary of Parentline Dorritt Brown
"It is classic teenage rebellious behaviour"
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Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Blair's son 'drunk and incapable'
Euan, third from left, with the Blairs on a family holiday
Prime Minister Tony Blair's 16-year-old son Euan has been arrested for being drunk and incapable.

The teenager, who was celebrating the end of his GCSE exams, was found by police officers in Leicester Square, in London's West End, at about 2300 BST on Wednesday.

In a speech on Thursday, Mr Blair said being a father was tougher than being prime minister and "sometimes you don't always succeed".

An ambulance had been called after Euan was discovered vomiting on the pavement, but paramedics decided there was no need for the teenager to go to hospital.

Euan, pictured at the age of 14
Instead, Euan was taken to Charing Cross police station where he initially gave his name as Euan John, gave an old address and told officers he was 18.

He was then searched and his true identity discovered.

Special Branch officers sent to the station confirmed he was Mr Blair's oldest son, and he was released without charge and driven home in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The prime minister had been up late writing a speech on opportunity and responsibility when he was told the news.

Speaking about family and community values at a Faith in the Future conference in Brighton on Thursday, Mr Blair referred to the incident with a wry smile.

"Being a Prime Minister can be a tough job," he said.

"Being a parent is probably tougher, and sometimes you don't always succeed. But the family to me is more important than anything else."

The Blairs will have to return to the police station with his son at a later date, it has been announced, when Euan could face a formal warning or a caution.

Downing Street issued a statement saying Euan was "very sorry".

The headmaster of Euan's school, the Oratory in London, said he would not be taking any disciplinary action.

John McIntosh said: "As far as I'm concerned it is a private matter, not a school matter because term has finished."


The affair will be a huge embarrassment for Mr Blair, coming days after his call for police to be given powers to levy on-the-spot fines on drunken yobs.

Political opponents will shrink from making capital over the family incident, but it caps a series of disasters for Mr Blair in recent days.

The PM would be pleased when the day was over, said a spokesman
On Wednesday he took a mauling in the Commons over the very issue of how police deal with drunken behaviour.

Mr Blair and his wife Cherie have gone to great lengths to protect the privacy of their children - Euan, Nicky, 14, Kathryn, 12, and baby Leo.

But Downing Street said the Blairs accepted news of Euan's arrest would be reported as it was a case of under-age drinking.

'No restriction'

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said: "I think everybody in the country will have every sympathy with the Blair family.

"We all shared a great deal of happiness for them with the new baby arriving, and they are experiencing a slight domestic setback of a type which probably affects just about every home in the land," he told Sky News.

Mr Blair is due to appear on Question Time on Thursday.

Lord Wakeham, chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, the press conduct watchdog, has said in a statement: "As Euan is over 16 and was not at school at the time of the incident there is no restriction on the use of photographs of him relating to the incident or reports about the incident itself, as the prime minister and Mrs Blair themselves recognise.

"However, I am sure that all editors will take into account the prime minister's and Mrs Blair's clear commitment to do all they can to protect the privacy of their children and will bear in mind the general provisions in the code on the reporting of private lives of children, and family life."

The incident comes two and a half years after Home Secretary Jack Straw's teenage son William was cautioned after being caught selling cannabis to a tabloid newspaper reporter.

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See also:

06 Jul 00 | UK
Family misfortunes
01 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Police concern at yob fines
30 Jun 00 | UK Politics
Blair: Fine louts on the spot
05 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Questions over Blair's Commons blunders
03 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Blair backs down on fining 'louts'
14 Dec 98 | Health
The young risk their health
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