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Thursday, May 20, 1999 Published at 03:51 GMT 04:51 UK

UK Politics

Major 'meets long-lost half-brother'

John Major reportedly travelled with his wife Norma to meet his half-brother

Former Prime Minister John Major is reported to have met a half-brother he had not known existed.

John Major's biographer Bruce Anderson: John was almost certainly an accident
The un-named American is the son of Mr Major's father, Tom Major-Ball, a circus artist who travelled frequently in the US, according to The Times.

A spokesman for John Major's office said he had "no comment at this stage".

The relative is said to be older than Mr Major's eldest brother, Terry-Major Ball, 67, the newspaper reported.

Criticism of ex-colleagues

The former prime minister found out about the man while preparing his autobiography, due to be published to coincide with this autumn's Tory party conference, it adds.

After learning about his half-brother from his brother and sister, Pat Dessoy, Mr Major, 56, flew to the US to meet the man.

Tom Major-Ball grew up in the US before coming to Britain in 1896, aged 17.

But he often returned with his trapeze act, the Times said.

Mr Major's autobiography is reported to contain strong criticism of his former colleagues in government, especially Margaret Thatcher and his Chancellor, Norman Lamont.

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