TRACEY TEMPLE'S DIARY
Tuesday 2 May 2006
The Not so Secret Diary of Tracey Temple, aged 43ĺ
never travel without my diary," says Gwendolen Fairfax, in The Importance of Being Earnest. "One should always have something sensational to read in the train." This Sunday all of us, diary writers and non-diary-writers alike, had something sensational to read on the train. The Mail on Sunday published extracts from the secret diary of Tracey Temple, age 43ĺ, and by golly, was it zippy.
Johnny and Trace - 2 year hush puppy
Temple is no great scribe; not even her best friends would describe her as writerly. She sprinkles her prose with words such as "bizi" (busy) and "coz" - more in the manner of a carefree 12-year-old than a 43-year-old civil servant with a government department to help run. She appears uninterested in much beyond the minutiae of office life and nights out at work-relaed "do's". As a diarist, she combines the giddiness of Bridget Jones with the naivety of Adrian Mole.
But like the great Samuel Pepys, Temple is ruthlessly honest in the recording of her sexual adventures, however badly they might reflect upon her, and it's here that her diaries really shine. Pepys, of course, had other strings to his bow - but then he didn't have an affair with the deputy prime minister, did he?
At first, glancing at Temple's diaries, you are struck by the grinding ordinariness of it all. These are meant to be the best bits, you think - what else would the Mail on Sunday splash out (a rumoured) £250,000 on? Temple is like some extra from The Office ... it's all what train she managed to get to work and her boring job, and whether she'll leave her boring job to take a different boring job at Downing Street - or not.
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.
Secretary in a State
Deputy PM admits TWO-YEAR fling with his secretary
Friday, 26-28 April 2006
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".
Downing Street had earlier said it was a "private matter", a message repeated by Home Secretary Charles Clarke when he appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
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.
She had reportedly previously worked as a personal diary secretary for former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam, who died of cancer last year.
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
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
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