L O N D O N, July 6, 2000 -- Prime Minister Tony Blair’s 16-year-old son was arrested for being drunk after police found him face down and vomiting in a London square, Blair’s office said today.
Euan Blair was found at about 11 p.m. Wednesday lying on the ground in Leicester Square, said Alastair Campbell, Blair’s official spokesman.
“He was clearly ill, he had been vomiting,” Campbell said.
The teenager had been out with friends, celebrating the end of school exams, Campbell said.
Questioned by police, Euan gave a false name — Euan John — and provided an old address, Campbell said. He also claimed to be 18 — of legal drinking age.
Officers called an ambulance, but paramedics decided there was no need for hospital treatment. Euan was then taken to the Charing Cross police station, where officers established his identity.
Bad Timing for Dad
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman confirmed the arrest. “Police were not responding to a call regarding the person, an officer on patrol just came upon him,” she said
The teenager was released without charge and driven home early this morning. Police said the youth could be brought back to the station and issued a formal warning or he could be cautioned.
The Scotland Yard spokeswoman would not say whether the prime minister and his wife, Cherie, came to the police station to fetch their son.
“Euan is very sorry for the inconvenience he has caused the police, the state he was in and for the false statement that he made,” Campbell said.
It’s likely his father is very sorry as well. The incident is a huge embarrassment for the prime minister, who on Monday called for police to be given new powers to levy on-the-spot fines on drunken troublemakers.
The Blairs have gone to great lengths to protect the privacy of their children — Euan, Nicky, 14, Kathryn, 12, and baby Leo, born May 20.
In December, they complained to Britain’s Press Complaints Commission after a paper published photos of Euan, then 15, kissing a girl at a disco. This time, however, there’s nothing to prevent the story from being aired far and wide.
“As Euan is over 16 and was not at school at the time of the incident, there is no restriction in the code on the use of photographs of him relating to the incident or reports about the incident itself,” said the commission’s chairman, Lord Wakeham.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.