Pauline Prescott and long-lost son overjoyed to be reunited

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Indy Politics

The wife of the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, has been reunited with the long lost son she gave up for adoption at the age of 16.

Mr Prescott said his wife, Pauline, was delighted to have found her son who she gave up for adoption.

In an official statement, the Deputy Prime Minister said: "It has been a joy to see Pauline and Paul reunited. She now has all three sons together. We are very happy to find Paul again. In fact, we're absolutely delighted."

A family friend, with the apparent approval of the Prescotts, told The Mail on Sunday that the son, Lieutenant-Colonel Timothy Paul Watton, had forged a close bond with his natural mother since learning her identity two years ago.

Pauline Prescott, 67, did not put the father's name down on the birth certificate. She began her relationship with Mr Prescott a year after the birth and was reported as saying: "John knew when he first met me ... John was wonderful."

Gordon Vickers, a millionaire hotel-owner friend of the Prescotts, described Lt-Col Watton, an officer with the Royal Military Police, as "charming, well spoken, well-educated and clean-cut".

He said: "He told me of his shock and surprise when he discovered who his family was. He said he was pleased he and his mother were reunited and that he had met all the immediate family and felt part of it."

Pauline Tilston, married the then cruise liner steward John Prescott in 1961, five years after giving birth. They went on to have two sons of their own.

The decision to give up her child is said to have been heart-rending, but made in the best interests of the baby. She had no means to support him and would have lacked help at home following the death of her father. Her brother was also seriously ill with tuberculosis at the time, and her mother had taken on extra work in a laundry in their home town of Chester to help pay the bills.

The young Timothy, who prefers to use his second name, Paul, was adopted by a loving family and went on to forge an impressive career in the Armed Services, even earning an OBE, which he received from Prince Charles.

His neighbours in Collingbourne Ducis, a village in the Tory heartland of Wiltshire, said the information wasn't made public when he discovered two years ago the identity of his mother for fear of upsetting his adoptive family.

Tony Still, Chairman of the Parish Council, said: "It certainly wasn't common knowledge. It was typical of him that his first concern was that it might upset his adoptive mother, Mary, who is now in her eighties, but everything was fine." Mr Still said that bachelor Lt-Col Watton was always keen to involve himself in rural life, including supporting fox hunting, whenever his career permitted. He has been stationed in Scotland for the past two years and only occasionally visits his home.

Last night Mr Prescott was with his wife and two sons at his grace-and-favour mansion, Dorney Wood, in Buckinghamshire.