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The BBC's Francesca Kasteliz
"A No.10 spokesman insisted the Blairs were not receiving special treatment"
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The BBC's Graham Satchell
"It may be a difficult time for Tony Blair to be banging the law and order drum"
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The BBC's Sean Curran
"Euan Blair was given a reprimand"
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Friday, 7 July, 2000, 21:07 GMT 22:07 UK
Final warning for Blair's son
Euan, third from left, with the Blairs on a family holiday
Prime Minister Tony Blair's son Euan has received a dressing down from police but escaped more serious punishment for being drunk and incapable.

The 16-year-old was picked up by police on Wednesday night in London's Leicester Square following a night out with friends to celebrate the end of his school exams.

He gave officers a false name, age and address when questioned at Charing Cross police station on the night of his arrest, but was released without charge in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Mr Blair and his wife, Cherie, who had just returned from a holiday in Portugal, accompanied their son to Kennington police station in south London on Friday afternoon.

Euan Blair
Euan, pictured at the age of 14

A Downing Street spokesman said: "[The family] was there for 30 minutes during which time they were seen by an inspector from Charing Cross police station.

"Euan was reprimanded for being drunk and incapable on Wednesday evening.

"This is in accordance with the final warning scheme that came into effect last month."

New punishment system

The family went to Kennington rather than Charing Cross police station in central London to ensure the visit was kept private following a surge of media interest in the story, the spokesman said.

The final warning is a new juvenile punishment system which came into force on 1 June and the most lenient of three options the police could have taken.

Euan could have received a warning or been prosecuted.

To receive the punishment, he would have had to have admitted he had committed an offence.

Mr Blair and his wife Cherie acted as `appropriate adults' at the police station when police would have spelled out `in ordinary language' to Euan the full consequences of his punishment.

Downing Street stressed the family had received no special treatment by visiting Kennington police station, to avoid a media pack at Charing Cross.

'Very sorry'

A Number 10 statement said: "Under existing police procedures it is perfectly appropriate for people in situations like this to be seen at stations other than that to which they were taken at the time of the incident.

Tony Blair on Question Time
Blair: "I don't ask for special preferences for my kid"

Mr Blair, speaking on BBC One's Question Time on Thursday, said Euan must face the consequences of his actions and in a statement released on Thursday, Downing Street said the teenager was very sorry for the incident.

Asked by programme host David Dimbleby whether he thought Euan should be prosecuted, Mr Blair replied: "Well that is a matter for the police, but if he has done something wrong, he has to pay the penalty of the law. I don't ask for any special preferences for my kid."

False name and address

Mr Blair was asked by a member of the audience whether he was concerned that Euan had given police a false name and address.

The prime minister replied: "Well of course I'm concerned about that. But I suspect and I think he was probably trying to save his parents a bit of embarrassment as much as anything."

The incident came just days after Mr Blair suggested on-the-spot fines for drunken and disorderly behaviour.

He had to backtrack from the plan after police chiefs told him it would be unworkable.

Opposition politicians either expressed their sympathy or said they would not comment on a family matter.

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See also:

07 Jul 00 | UK
Papers side with Euan
06 Jul 00 | UK
Family misfortunes
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Police concern at yob fines
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Questions over Blair's Commons blunders
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Blair backs down on fining 'louts'
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The young risk their health
06 Jul 00 | Health
Teenage drinking
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