Prescott awaits Lords ‘sidelining’

By politics.co.uk staff

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has taken up his seat in the House of Lords.

The man who for ten years after 1997 helped smooth over tensions between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen as he took the title Baron Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull.

His decision to accept a peerage raised many eyebrows after his previous working class contempt for the “flunkery and titles” of the upper House.

“My wife Pauline would quite like me to accept it, but why should I be sidelined to the Lords when I could do so much more for the Labour movement?” he told the Daily Mail newspaper in 2008.

“Being a lord is not for three years or four years, it is for life. There are other things I want to get involved in.”

But the 72-year-old has experienced a change of heart as he has argued he will use the post to hold the new government to account. Once known as ‘Two Jags’ or ‘Prezza’, he now appears to favour being called the ‘Erminator’.

“It means I can still keep holding this government to account in parliament and have a platform to campaign for the issues I believe in,” he tweeted.

“And as the last week has shown with hiking up VAT, axing child tax credits and scrapping schools, there’s a lot to hold this government to account for.”

Mr Presott stood down as Hull East’s MP at the general election.