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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 August, 2003, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Prescott family 'now complete'
Mr and Mrs Prescott
Mr Prescott said Paul (not pictured) had made his family complete
The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, has been explaining the decision to go public about his wife's reunion with the son she gave up for adoption in the 1950s.

Paul Watton, 47, who is now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Military Police, was born in 1956 when Pauline Prescott was 17 and single.

He was first reunited with Mrs Prescott two years ago and has since regularly met up with Mr and Mrs Prescott and their two sons Jonathan, 40, and David, 33.

Mr Prescott told BBC1's Breakfast with Frost that several newspapers were aware of the reunion but had not revealed any details after his family insisted it was a "very private situation".

He said: "During the two years we talked to a lot of our friends, tried to adjust to the situation, and allowed that relationship between Paul and his mother to develop to such a stage where we believed they wanted to be out and be seen about.

Children's home

"It was necessary in those circumstances to make a public statement.

"We are all delighted that Paul has joined us and made our family complete."

When asked about Paul being is a Conservative voter and a supporter of fox hunting, Mr Prescott refused to be drawn and appealed for his wife and Paul to be allowed to get on with their lives.

In a statement issued on Saturday by the Office of the deputy prime minister, Mr Prescott said: "We have made this public statement and we do not intend to make any further comment.

"We'd now like to continue our normal family life. We hope the media will understand and allow us to do so."

Mrs Prescott, 64, was working as a hairdresser in her home town of Chester when she fell pregnant with Paul in 1955, when she was 16.

Falklands

She looked after him for the first three months, however with her father dead and her mother struggling to make ends meet, she placed him in a children's home.

Three years later he was adopted by school teacher Ted Watton and his wife Mary, a school district nurse.

She met John Prescott, then a merchant navy steward, in 1957 and they married in November 1961.

Mr Watton was awarded an MBE for his services in Northern Ireland and an OBE for his work in Kosovo. He has also served in the Falklands.

In 1999, he was made head of the Royal Military Police in Scotland and the north of England.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Richard Lister
"A secret the Prescott's have kept for more than four decades"



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