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Lord (John) Prescott is the former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, serving under the Labour government that held power between 1997-2007, retiring as an MP in 2010. In 2010 he joined the House of Lords as a life peer and holds the title Baron Prescott, of Kingston upon Hull.
Before moving into politics John was a steward and a waiter in the Merchant Navy, working for Cunard Line while also working as a left-wing unionist activist. After leaving the Merchant Navy he studied economics and politics at Ruskin College, before obtaining a BSc in Economics and History at the University of Hull in 1968.
As a key figure within Tony Blair’s New Labour government, John held numerous roles and his strong ties to the unions allowed him to serve as a bridge between old-Labour and new.
John was the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions and latterly First Secretary of State. Perhaps his most notable achievement in government was his role as a government negotiator in Kyoto that resulted in the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that committed participating states to actively work towards reducing greenhouse gases.
John’s relationship with the media reflects his maverick status, with numerous colourful stories of his time in office. Perhaps best remembered is a clash with farmer Craig Evans, who caught a jab with his face from former amateur boxer Prescott in response to throwing an egg at the minister.
John has appeared on BBC’s Have I Got News For You on several occasions, where his frosty relationship with Private Eye editor Ian Hislop caused sparks to fly. He also made a guest appearance as himself in the series finale of Gavin and Stacy on BBC Three and performed rather poorly in the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ segment of BBC’s Top Gear.
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