Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has been taken to hospital after suffering a stroke.

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

A statement posted on social media on behalf of the family said: "John was taken to hospital last Friday after suffering a stroke.

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"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. 

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"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."

Anna Turley, MP for Redcar, said: "Sad to hear this - wishing John well."

Lord Prescott, 81, entered Parliament in 1970 as Labour MP for Hull East serving as deputy to Tony Blair between 1997 and 2007.

He received a peerage in 2010.

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 he 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.