Prescott cleared over election punch-up

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will not face charges in connection with his scuffle with a protester during the General Election campaign, police said today.

North Wales Police, who compiled a report on the incident in Rhyl in May, said the Crown Prosecution Service had advised them that there should be no further action.

The force launched an investigation after Mr Prescott punched farm worker Craig Evans after he was hit by an egg as he arrived for a rally.

Reacting to today's news, Mr Prescott said: "The authorities have now made their decision and I have no further comment to make."

North Wales Police said in a statement: "The Crown Prosecution Service has conducted a careful review of the substantial file of evidence and video material presented by investigators.

"The conclusion in Mr Prescott's case is that, for reasons of self defence, there is not a realistic prospect of a conviction.

"In Mr Evans's case, the CPS has concluded that a prosecution would serve no useful purpose, taking into account the minor nature of the assault as well as the fact that he suffered some minor injury himself and spent several hours in police custody.

"Neither party has made any allegations about this incident. Accordingly, no further police action is anticipated."

The solicitor acting for Craig Evans, Gwynn Jones, said: "Craig Evans is extremely happy that the Crown Prosecution Service has advised the police that no further action is to be taken.

"He's extremely relieved that proceedings have been brought to an end and he's extremely grateful for the support that he has received from the vast number of people during the course of the last few weeks.

"It has, of course, been a stressful time for him and his family and he's relieved the matter is now over," added Mr Jones.

Mr Prescott always insisted that he was acting in self–defence when he landed

the punch on Mr Evans after he felt a blow to the head, which was caused by the egg.

The two men had to be separated by aides after the confrontation which was captured by television cameras and photographers.

The altercation became the most talked–about event of the General Election campaign and distracted attention away from Labour's manifesto launch.