A key member of Tony Blair's government, John Prescott was Britain's longest serving Deputy Prime Minister (1997 to 2007), with an expanded brief as Secretary of State For The Environment, Transport And The Regions.
A former ship's steward and trade union activist, John represented Hull East as the Labour Member Of Parliament for 40 years, from 1970 to 2010. In the Labour Party's 1994 leadership election, he was a candidate for both the Leader and Deputy Leader roles, winning election to the latter office. He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister after Labour's victory in the 1997 election. One of John's most significant achievements as a Government Minister was leading the UK's environmental negotiations at Kyoto, resulting in the first international treaty on climate change.
Through elevated to high office, John remained at heart a man of the people, an important link to the working class in a Labour Party led by modernising, middle-class professionals. Sometimes described as An Old-school Unionist, John kept in touch with the views of the traditional Labour voters throughout his career.
John has never deliberately courted controversy, but he has sometimes garnered a degree of notoriety, mainly thanks to press interest. He ran two Jaguars during his time as Secretary of State For The Environment - leading to the tabloids dubbing him "Two Jags" Prescott - but it was the punch he threw at a farmer during an election campaign that he is probably best remembered for. Mind you, he was having eggs pelted at him at the time!
Despite such incidences, John has succeeded in developing a good working relationship with the media. As a man who is naturally blessed with a good sense of fun, he has often been invited as a guest on TV panel shows, such as Have I Got News For You. In 2008, he even made a cameo appearance playing a policeman, in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Robert Tressell's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, and the following year he made a brief cameo appearance as himself in the final episode of the BBC Three comedy series Gavin And Stacey. On a more serious note, he also presented a two-part documentary, Prescott: The Class System And Me (BBC 2), which looked at the class system in Britain, and Prescott: The North/South Divide (also BBC2), in which he and his wife Pauline explored the so-called North-South Divide from their own perspective.
John's autobiography - aptly entitled Prezza, My Story: Pulling No Punches - was published in May 2008. In July 2010, he entered the House of Lords as a life peer with the title Baron Prescott of Kingston Upon Hull.
From his early days serving pink gins as a ship's steward to private dinners with Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, John Prescott has a rich fund of anecdotes. He also possesses great insight on matters concerning the environment, the housing sector and politics in general, and as such makes a perfect choice as an After-dinner Speaker. To book him, contact a Prime Performers Booking Agent via the online booking enquiry form or alternatively call us on 020 7251 8222 to discuss your requirements.
- Diarmuid is one of the mavericks of the world of garden design.
- One of the legends of the green baize, John is a former UK, European and World champion. He performs snooker exhibitions and is a very entertaining after dinner speaker.
- Probably the best after dinner speaker in the country.