Wednesday, May 03, 2006

John Prescott: my part in his downfall

With the general clamour surrounding John Prescott's personal life, I might as well throw in my own tuppence ha'porth with an anecdote from the early 1990s. At that time I was working as a reporter on a leftwing newspaper that shared offices with other radical political concerns.

Into the room walked a twentysomething middle-class woman who worked part-time as a Labour MP's researcher, part-time for a campaigning outfit in the same building. Good looking? Well, to paraphrase Ann Widdecombe, she had something of the fox about her.

Most of the paper's staff were on friendly terms with her. She seemed obviously distraught about something and close to tears. Naturally, we offered her a cuppa and asked her what was wrong.

Unsolicited, she told several people present that she had been having an affair with John Prescott, and that one of the tabloids had rumbled it. She feared being on the front page of a mass circulation red top the following morning. But that story never materialised.

In response to my old Tory chum Iain Dale ... sorry, no names. A confidence is a confidence, even over a decade later. Besides, the odds are high that she is now a suburban yummy mummy keen to put this episode of her past behind her.

But I will add this. She was certainly, er, younger and easier on the eye than either of the two other women so far named in the Prescott saga. Come to that, she was considerably more attractive than the DPM's alleged mistress number three.

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