Labour’s guests meet up with Lord Prescott

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WHITBY members of the Labour party got to rub shoulders with former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott when he made a visit to Scarborough last week.

Lord Prescott entertained guests at Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party’s New Year dinner as the speaker.

The ex-Hull MP said he was pleased to be back in Scarborough.

“I’d come here on holiday and for union conferences years ago,” he said.

“I was asked to come and speak in Scarborough while I was campaigning in the delayed Thirsk and Malton election.”

Lord Prescott agreed to attend, but was forced to cancel as he was called to United Nations climate talks in Cancun.

The Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party rearranged their dinner so that Lord Prescott could still attend.

“I owed them that,” said Lord Prescott, who at the age of 72 shows no sign of slowing down.

“I’m still doing a lot of travelling,” he said. “I’m passionate about the environment and have just been to China and Japan.

“I’m also interested in press freedom and labour laws.”

Lord Prescott was in office when Tony Blair was Prime Minister and Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

He was nicknamed him ‘Two Jags’ because of Parliamentary lifestyle.

He currently features in a television advertisement for an online insurance firm. He plays a boxer – which lampoons his reputation as a bruiser.

In 2001 in Rhyl the politician punched a voter who had thrown an egg at him.

Lord Prescott was given a life peerage last year, which he said “kept his foot in the political camp”, but admitted he is uncomfortable with many of the airs and graces which go along with his title.

“I wish the House of Lords could be called a senate, “ he said. “I still cringe every time I’m called Lord.”

His speech, which he prepared on the train, went down a storm with the 60 guests at the Crown Spa Hotel.

Judith Dennett, secretary of the Whitby branch of the Labour Party, organised the event.

She said: “It was a really nice evening. The speech was a John Prescott special.

“There were plenty of anecdotes about Gordon and Tony and he spoke about how we are going to tackle the cuts and what the party’s response is going to be.

“He stayed and chatted to everybody and was very relaxed.

“We’ve got a lot of new members recently and it was good to see quite a few of them turn up.”