Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Lord Prescott fails in PCC poll bid

Lord Prescott reacts at Bridlington Spa as votes are counted in the election for Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner

Lord Prescott has failed in his bid to become a police and crime commissioner.

The former deputy prime minister led after the first round of votes in the Humberside race. But, after second preference votes were totted up in The Spa, Bridlington, he was overtaken by Tory local businessman and councillor Matthew Grove who beat him by 42,164 to 39,933.

Speaking after his defeat Lord Prescott, 74, said he did not think he would be standing for election again. He congratulated Mr Grove in his speech from the podium but told the hall he reduced a technical 30,000 Tory majority to 2,000.

Lord Prescott said: "I said at the beginning, this a Tory marginal seat. It's not a safe Labour seat. It's not even a Labour seat."

Asked if he will be putting himself up for election again, he said: "I've always been in public service rather than anywhere else. And I don't think I'll be standing for election, no. But this was one occasion where you were required to have lived in the actual constituency, I was one of the constituency, I always wanted to make service so I put my name forward and you have the results today. I got nearly got it, didn't I? It would have been nice but it wasn't so. The people have spoken."

Lord Prescott laughed when someone reminded him it was the first time he had personally lost an election race.He said: "I've always been winning but I knew when I started it was a marginal seat. But it's nothing to be defeated in a democracy, is it? I've done what I have to do. I've put Labour's case, I think I've put it effectively, and I've missed it by a couple of cents."

He laughed again when reporters asked if his wife, Pauline, wanted him to retire. Lord Prescott fought 10 general elections in his 40-year career as Labour MP for Hull East.

Despite his close association with Hull, Prescott was born in Prestatyn, North Wales, in 1938. He became involved in trade union politics when working as a ship steward.

The peer married his wife Pauline in 1961 and was first elected for Labour in Hull East in 1970, beating a young Norman Lamont, who went on to become John Major's chancellor of the exchequer. In 1994 he was elected deputy leader of the Labour Party and, when the party won the 1997 election, he became deputy prime minister.

He was one of the leading figures in Tony Blair's government between 1997 and 2007.

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