Sarah Palin's daughter engaged again to Levi Johnston

Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin attended the 2008 Republican convention with Sarah Palin

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Bristol Palin, daughter of former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is once again engaged to marry Levi Johnston, the father of her baby son.

The pair were engaged previously but separated soon after the child's birth.

Mrs Palin issued a statement on their reunion, announced in a US magazine.

"We obviously want what's best for our children," she said. "Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives."

The engagement, announced in celebrity magazine Us Weekly, marks the latest twist in a drama that has gripped the US news media since the 2008 election campaign.

The Palin family rose to prominence in summer 2008, when Republican presidential candidate John McCain plucked Sarah Palin, then governor of Alaska, from relative obscurity to be his running mate as he stood against Barack Obama.

'No approval'

The McCain camp announced in the heat of the campaign that Bristol, then 17, was pregnant and that she would marry Mr Johnston, an unemployed former high school hockey star. The couple had met at school.

Bristol Palin, 19, and Levi Johnston, 20 Bristol Palin, 19, and Levi Johnston, 20, met in high school

Their son was born in December 2008, shortly after the election, and the pair split in March 2009, only to announce their engagement on Wednesday in Us Weekly.

"It felt right, even though we don't have the approval of our parents," Bristol Palin, now 19, told the magazine in a statement.

"It is intimidating and scary just to think about what her reaction is going to be. Hopefully she will jump on board."

The magazine's editor, Caroline Schaefer, told NBC the couple were living separately and practising abstinence and planned to wed within the next month.

Since the election, Bristol Palin has become an spokeswoman for teen abstinence, encouraging teenagers not to have sex because of the risk of pregnancy.

Sarah Palin resigned from the Alaska governor's office in July 2009 and has become one of America's most popular conservative politicians.

She is now one of President Barack Obama's chief critics, using her Facebook page and frequent appearances on Fox News to target him and other Democrats.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnston has attempted to position himself in the public eye, posing nude in Playgirl and appearing frequently on television to criticise Sarah Palin.

But last week the 20-year-old appeared to soften his attitude toward Ms Palin.

In People Magazine, Mr Johnston apologised publicly to Mrs Palin and her husband Todd Palin, saying he had said things about them that were untrue.

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