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The BBC's Guto Harri
"The prime minister has tried to retain a healthy perspective"
 real 28k

The BBC's Robin Oakley
"His parents have been described... as strict disciplinarians"
 real 28k

Chief Secretary of Parentline Dorritt Brown
"It is classic teenage rebellious behaviour"
 real 28k

Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Euan: Growing up at No.10
The Blairs
Tough at the top - especially for a Number 10 teenager
The Blairs have done their best to shield their children from publicity but it is hard for a Number 10 teenager to escape the media spotlight.

The image most people will associate with the Prime Minister's eldest son Euan dates from just hours after Labour's landslide victory in the 1997 General Election, when he joined his parents on the steps of Downing Street.

His first scrape with the headlines came when he was just 10, when the Blairs decided to send him to the London Oratory, a grant-maintained school in Fulham, south-west London.


Euan, pictured at the age of 14

Labour party activists were up in arms, saying the decision was a betrayal of the party's long-held opposition to schools opting out of local authority control.

The prime minister's response at the time was: "His education should come before any political convenience."

The bright youngster was placed on a fast-track GCSE course at the Oratory, a strict Catholic school run in a public school style, to take five key subjects a year early.

Ill-timed

It was his parents who were responsible for propelling Euan into the headlines again last year.

They returned from a holiday in the Seychelles a day after term began, shortly after Education Secretary David Blunkett asked parents to avoid taking children away during school.

In March 1998, security of the Blair children had to be reviewed by Special Branch officers after Euan and a friend were attacked outside school by a gang of five youths.

There have been times, of course, when teenage sons have come in useful.

Blonde-haired Euan has reportedly been used by his father as a way of keeping government projects in touch with the teenage mind.

"The Euan Factor" was considered during high-level discussions about what should go in the Millennium Dome.


Mr Blair's son was found vomiting in Leicester Square

The PM was said to have demanded to see evidence that exhibits at Greenwich would excite his son, who was 13 at the time.

Until his most recent exploit, Euan has in many ways been a model politician's son.

Extra-curricular activities at the 1,300 pupil Oratory have included winning a place in the school choir, and Euan dons a scarlet surplice to sing on Sunday mornings at the Brompton Oratory.

The musical youngster also plays piano - his practising was reported to have disrupted senior officials' meetings at Number 10 - and sang in the chorus of the opera Turandot at the Royal Opera House in 1997, before an audience of 2,000.

He also appears to have inherited a taste for showbiz from his grandfather, the actor Tony Booth, studying drama at the famous Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington.

In 1995 he won himself a part as an extra in the BBC-funded film Priest, in which Mr Booth played a bigoted churchgoer who walks out when he discovers his priest is gay.

Euan is also a sport fan, playing football, tennis and cricket, and shares another common teenage preoccupation - pop music.

The other teenage boy's obsession - namely girls - has also caused unwelcome attention from the press.

The Press Complaints Commission upheld a complaint from the Blairs after a tabloid newspaper which published a picture of Euan kissing a girl at a party.

The Daily Sport photo showed the 15-year-old kissing a girl at the 60-a-head Mistletoe Ball at London's trendy Ministry of Sound nightclub.

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