Prescott endorses MacAskill decision

By Jon Ashford

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has endorsed Kenny Prescott endorses MacAskill’s decision to release the convicted Libyan terrorist Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.

He is the first major Labour figure to back the Scottish National party (SNP) decision in what has become an increasingly fractious debate.

Talking to Sky News, Mr Prescott was asked if he had any objection to the release.

“No, I don’t have any objections,” he replied.

“If the man is dying, if compassion is part, as it is, of the Scottish administration and the medical authorities then get proof to that effect, then it’s a decision for the legal authority.”

Angus Robertson, SNP Westminster leader and foreign affairs spokesperson, expressed approval of Prescott’s statement but described attempts by the Conservatives and Labour to politicise the debate as shameful.

“John Prescott’s intervention is very welcome, but starkly underlines the naked opportunism of Iain Gray and Labour in the Scottish parliament,” he said.

“It is plain to most right thinking people that Kenny MacAskill made the right decision and, above all, he made it for the right reasons.”

In his comments he singled out Iain Gray, Scottish Labour leader, in particular, alleging that Mr Gray only chose to oppose in the debate when it became clear that medical authorities were recommending al-Megrahi be released.