JOHN PRESCOTT MP
2 May 2006 - PRESCOTT TO GO ON TV
Sunday, 30 April 2006 - Prescott angry at lover's claims
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has hit back after allegations were made by his former lover in an interview with a Sunday newspaper.
Mr Prescott said much of Tracy Temple's recollections in the Mail on Sunday were "simply untrue" and "motivated by a desire to maximise financial gain".
Johnny and Trace - 2 year hush puppy
Ms Temple, his diary secretary, said she felt she was used as a "scapegoat".
Mr Prescott admitted he had "acted stupidly" and appealed for privacy as he tried to rebuild his marriage.
Fighting for his political life and showing no signs he intended to resign from the government, Mr Prescott issued a statement in which he admitted he had had "intimate relations" with Ms Temple.
But he said "much of her recollections in the Mail on Sunday are simply untrue and are clearly motivated by a desire to maximise financial gain".
"It is totally unacceptable for the Mail on Sunday and other newspapers to trawl through a long list of people - some hardly known to me - ex-staff members, family and friends, offering large amounts of money to make allegations without substance," he said.
Sir Alastair Graham, Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said Mr Prescott may have broken the ministerial code.
"There are some question marks in relation to these allegations that have been made or the detail that's come out and possible breaches of the ministerial code."
But he added it was up to Tony Blair to decide what Mr Prescott's political future is.
"The issue that the prime minister has to consider is to whether the public duties as a minister of the deputy prime minister got unreasonably mixed up with his private life," he told BBC News.
He added that the ministerial code said ministers of the crown were expected "to behave to the highest standards of constitutional and personal conduct".
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling said it had been a "pretty bad" week for the government, with Home Secretary Charles Clarke fighting off calls to resign over revelations over the release of foreign prisoners and after Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt was booed by nurses at a conference.
"Each one of these things on their own is bad, the bringing of together all three together is very bad for the government.
"None of these things are helpful," he told Andrew Marr on BBC One's Sunday AM.
"It's not the first time politicians have had affairs of this sort... but we as a government have to concentrate on those things that we were put into power to sort out."
Mr Prescott said he intended to take the matter to the Press Complaints Commission.
"I admit that I have acted stupidly and caused great distress to my wife and family. Pauline and I would now like to request the media to give us the privacy space and time to allow us to try to re build our marriage," he said.
Ms Temple was speaking in an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper for which she was paid in excess of £100,000.
Mr Prescott, MP for Hull East, has said he regretted the affair and it had left his wife Pauline "devastated".
'Lucky not to be caught'
Ms Temple told the newspaper she felt she had been abandoned by him when news of the affair came out and had received just one phone call from her ex-lover.
"I feel I have been used and am being used as a scapegoat. They have abandoned me and hung me out to dry," she said.
She told the newspaper she had regular sexual encounters with Mr Prescott in his office with the door open while other civil servants worked outside.
In a video statement released on Saturday night, a tearful Ms Temple said:
"I've had to live with the lies and the misinformation that was actually written about me, causing damage to my reputation and possibly my future career.
"Therefore, as a result, I felt I needed to tell my side of the story and let people know the truth."
One of Mr Prescott's friends, Sports Minister Richard Caborn, told BBC News the deputy prime minister was "very depressed" over his "huge mistake" and that wife Pauline was "greatly saddened".
Prime Minister Tony Blair has refused to discuss the affair saying it was "a private matter".
But former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine told Sunday Live on Sky News: "It is legitimate to say that a private affair is private, but we are not talking about the affair, we are talking about the behaviour of the Deputy Prime Minister.
"You simply cannot have a senior member of a government bringing that government into ridicule and contempt by the way in which that person behaves. That is what has happened."
Shadow home secretary David Davis said it was likely Mr Prescott felt he had lost face and wanted to resign.
"In his own words, he's made himself a laughing stock. And I think, actually, he probably wants to go himself now," Mr Davis told Sky News.
Mr Prescott imitates an Ostrich
(I'll never get away with this)
Deputy PM admits TWO-YEAR fling with his secretary
Friday, 26-28 April 2006 - Prescott admits affair with aide
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has admitted he had an affair with one of his secretaries.
The MP for Hull East said he regretted the relationship with Tracey Temple, 43, which had ended "some time ago".
"I have discussed this fully with my wife Pauline who is devastated. I would be grateful if [we] can get on with our lives together," a statement said.
Tony Blair's spokesman said Mr Prescott had strong support and was a "real benefit" to the country and government.
The spokesman added that Mr Prescott, 67, played "an absolutely vital role".
Mr Prescott and Ms Temple started meeting in secret at his Whitehall flat after a two-year relationship began at an office party in 2002, the Daily Mirror reported.
The pair began working together when Ms Temple was appointed as Mr Prescott's assistant private secretary, responsible for organising his diary, said the paper.
The PM's spokesman said Mr Prescott had not offered to resign, nor had he abused his position by having an affair with a civil servant.
Ms Temple's boyfriend, lorry driver Barrie Williams, 46, told the Daily Mirror: "I just can't believe that my darling Tracey has been sleeping with John Prescott behind my back.
"How dare he split up my relationship with the woman I'd planned to marry!"
Mr Williams, of Bordon, Hants, said Ms Temple asked him to marry her just two days after she began a relationship with Mr Prescott.
Tracey Temple - kiss and tell
"I'm just glad we hadn't got round to tying the knot," he said. The Daily Mirror's associate editor, Kevin Maguire, said the affair had "some political ramifications, although... it would be wrong to overstate them".
"It's embarrassing for the government because of its current problems with cabinet ministers of one sort or another. It's very embarrassing for John Prescott publicly," Mr Maguire said.
"It will undermine his 'honest John' image to some extent and perhaps even make more difficult that broker role he's playing between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair."
Uniformed police were stationed outside the Prescott house in Hull on Wednesday and the gates were shut, with no sign of John or Pauline Prescott.
They have been married for more than 44 years and have two children. The Daily Mirror's assertion that the affair was common knowledge in Mr Prescott's department was dismissed by local government minister Phil Woolas.
"I think it is a private matter for the Deputy Prime Minister," he said. "I have worked for him for many years and I have every confidence in his ability, not just as a public spokesperson for the government but as the chair of Cabinet committees and as deputy to the Prime Minister and standing in for him, and in leading his department."
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
LOCAL ELECTION COVERAGE
HAVE YOUR SAY
Prescott and Temple - the happy couple
scandal to rumble on
in trouble, in flagrante and in denial
A government in meltdown
Labourís bit of rough gone wrong
of a presposterous man's vanities
demeaning week in British politics
on a road to nowhere, as we bypass Tories
first rule of the politician's wife should be: Never leave ...
is much too smart to enjoy any of this
2-year affair with secretary adds to Blair woes
Keir Starmer KCB QC
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