No deputy's badge for Prescott

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Indy Politics
Tony Blair yesterday gave the clearest signal that he does not plan to allow his deputy, John Prescott, take on a role similar to that of Michael Heseltine as Deputy Prime Minister in a Labour government, writes Colin Brown.

Mr Prescott has told friends that Mr Heseltine has written his job description for him, but Mr Blair and Gordon Brown, the shadow Chancellor, both ridiculed the role of the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary to the Treasury.

Asked at a Westminster press gallery luncheon whether he would allow a deputy prime minister to be installed in a Labour government, in what has come to be called 10A Downing Street, Mr Blair said he was not sure what Mr Heseltine's role was.

"I think it is increasingly clear, unless he is given a proper role, I see it simply as a recipe for confusion," Mr Blair said. Decisions about the structure of a Labour Cabinet would have to wait until after the election, he added.