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  1. ITV Report

John Prescott admitted to hospital after suffering stroke

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman

Former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott has been admitted to hospital after suffering a stroke.

Lord Prescott, 81, was taken to hospital in Hull on Friday, his family said in a statement.

“We would like to praise the swift actions of the ambulance staff and the doctors and nurses at Hull Royal Infirmary’s A&E and stroke unit,” the statement said.

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“They have been remarkable and we cannot thank them enough.

“He is receiving excellent care from the NHS but we would respectfully request at this time that John and our family are given the privacy we need so that he can have the time and space to make a full recovery.”

Labour MP for Ilford North and member of the Treasury Committee Wes Streeting said: "Wishing John well - and looking forward to him being back in the tea room giving me a ticking off again soon!"

Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey, said: "My first boss in government - get well soon John."

John Prescott often found himself mediating between Gordon Brown, left, and Tony Blair, right. Credit: PA

A former trade union activist, John Prescott served 10 years as Tony Blair's deputy prime minister following Labour's 1997 general election landslide.

During much of that time, he acted as a conciliator in the often turbulent relationship between Mr Blair and chancellor Gordon Brown.

While a loyal supporter of Mr Blair in office, in more recent years Lord Prescott has been critical of elements of New Labour's legacy, denouncing Britain's involvement in the Iraq War.

He has strongly defended Jeremy Corbyn in the face of fierce criticism by other figures from the New Labour era.

Mr Corbyn said: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "My thoughts are with my good friend John and his family and friends at this difficult time."

Shortly before he stood down as deputy prime minister in 2007, Lord Prescott spent eight days in hospital being treated for pneumonia after falling ill on a train to London from his constituency in Hull.

In 2002, it was disclosed that he was suffering from Type 2 diabetes, although it was said he was able to live a "perfectly normal life" due to medication.