FORMER Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott - who grew up in Chester - has suffered a stroke, his family has said.

A statement posted on his Twitter account said he was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary last Friday.

It says: "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. 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. Thank you."

Mr Prescott, who served under Tony Blair between 1997 and 2007, was born in Prestatyn but his family later moved to Upton, Chester, and he went to school at Grange Secondary Modern in Ellesmere Port.

A trained boxer, he famously punched an egg-throwing protester at a rally in Rhyl in 2001. He is now 81.