Britain's former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who was known for his tough guy image, said in an article published Sunday that he has secretly struggled with bulimia for decades.

Prescott, 69, wrote in The Sunday Times that he used to gorge on vast amounts of food and then force himself to vomit.

Outside Britain, former Prime Minister Tony Blair's deputy is perhaps best known for socking a heckler in the jaw after being hit by an egg during the 2001 election campaign. Images of the punch were broadcast around the world.