'Rowdy' Euan story is false, says No 10

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Euan Blair and his friends did not misbehave or disturb guests at an Italian hotel, the couple who were supervising the teenagers' holiday said yesterday.

Euan Blair and his friends did not misbehave or disturb guests at an Italian hotel, the couple who were supervising the teenagers' holiday said yesterday.

Their denial follows reports in some British and Italian newspapers that the Prime Minister's eldest son and his friends had caused disturbances at a resort hotel. Downing Street was equally dismissive of the stories yesterday: "They are completely untrue and therefore there is no legitimate public interest in reporting them."

Nigel and Anah Ruddin, the parents of one of Euan's friends, who are enjoying a family holiday on the Italian island of Ponza, said: "The accounts of the behaviour of Euan Blair and his friends in the British press today are totally false. Euan is a friend of our family. We were with him the whole time. The incidents reported in the papers simply did not take place. We have no further comment to make."

The Prime Minister's office said that there had been a complaint from a guest who could not sleep at the Bellavista hotel because Euan and his friends were talking in the hotel lobby. A spokesman said the group immediately apologised and went to bed.

At the time of Euan's visit to the resort, his parents were 150 miles away at their holiday villa in San Gimignano, Tuscany.

The allegations originally appeared in the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero. They were then eagerly picked up by some British papers which reported them under headlines such as: "Euan's 5am hotel high jinks".

Downing Street's immediate response to the lurid accounts was: "These stories relate to an evening he [Euan] spent with friends and the parents of friends. They are completely untrue and therefore there is no legitimate public interest in reporting them."

Tony and Cherie Blair now intend to enjoy the rest of their holiday before returning to Britain when they will decide whether or not to lodge formal complaints against newspapers that carried the story about their son.

The director of the Press Complaints Commission, Guy Black, said: "If the story is inaccurate it would be open for Downing Street to make a complaint under the Code of Practice."

It is the second time Euan has hit the headlines this summer. He was found drunk by police in London's Leicester Square after a night out celebrating the end of his GCSE examinations. On that occasion, Downing Street acknowledged that there was a legitimate public and media interest in the story and co-operated in providing details to journalists.

Just weeks ago, Mr Blair complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the coverage of baby Leo's christening. The Prime Minister also said he was scrapping the traditional photocall at the start of his Italian holiday only to relent after issuing a plea that the family should be left alone for the rest of their vacation.

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