Euan Blair in Barbados hospital with stomach bug

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The Independent Online

Tony Blair's eldest son Euan was taken to hospital in Barbados suffering from stomach pains, Downing Street confirmed yesterday. His illness was one of several incidents that bedevilled the Blair family holiday.

A Caribbean website revealed that the Prime Minister's son had been admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital near Bridgetown. The 22-year-old's condition was not serious and no surgery was required.

Early reports wrongly implied that it was the younger son, Nicky, who was in hospital.

An aide said that Euan had been struck down by a "stomach bug" and said that his father would not have left Barbados if there had been any suggestion that he was seriously ill. Cherie Blair has stayed in Barbados with her son.

Euan recently accepted a place at the prestigious US college Yale to do a two-year masters in international relations. In May, he carried out an unpaid internship in Washington, after completing his undergraduate ancient history degree at Bristol University.

The Prime Minister flew back to the UK on the day his son went to hospital. Mr Blair had a pre-arranged series of meetings with advisers in Downing Street yesterday. He will spend next week in his country retreat in Chequers.

He had had a 10-day break in the Caribbean, having delayed his departure because of the continuing crisis in the Lebanon. But he had scarcely had time to settle into their borrowed holiday home than he received news that the police had arrested 23 people on suspicion of plotting to blow up aircraft. Last week, Mr Blair heard that in his absence, John Prescott had told MPs during a private meeting that George Bush's handling of the Middle East peace process was "crap".

For the past three years, the Blairs have borrowed the Barbados home of the pop singer Sir Cliff Richard, who offered it as a gesture of sympathy after the Iraq war, when he reputedly thought that the Prime Minister was looking "haggard".

Sir Cliff's friendship with the Blairs dates back to 2000, when Cherie Blair had a holiday in his villa in the Algarve with her newborn son, Leo. It was during her visit that Euan Blair, then aged 16, was found by police, where he was drunk and incapable in Leicester Square, London, at 11pm after he had been out celebrating his GCSE results.

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