Prescott frustrated by hung parliament ‘yacking’

By staff

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has spoken out against the media’s interest in a hung parliament – and insisted a party will have an overall majority.

Opinion polls have consistently pointed to a hung parliament throughout the campaign. Nick Clegg’s strong showing following the televised leaders’ debates has only made this more likely.

Ignoring these developments, Mr Prescott told the Today programme that the present electoral system is designed to produce a “strong government”.

“If you spend all your time talking about hung parliaments, don’t be surprised if people think that’s the inevitable outcome. No – the outcome is clear. There’s going to be one government,” he said.

“What we need is turnout. We’ve got to persuade them to come back to Labour.
If you keep on yacking about whether you’re going to work with other parties, don’t be surprised if the public think that’s the issue.”

Senior Labour figures have reportedly called on the prime minister to rejuvenate the style of his campaign. Mr Prescott appeared to criticise its substance today, tacitly rejecting Gordon Brown’s “relentless” emphasis on the “future”.

“The essence of any campaign for a government that’s been in power 13 years is to show that it’s delivered on its record, and we don’t say enough of that,” Mr Prescott said.

“Secondly to show the best leadership and let the others fight out for what’s going to happen.

“It is delivery and leadership and showing what the Tories will do. I still belong to the camp [arguing] that it’s a two-way race between the Tories and Labour.”