£100,000 spent on Prescott's flat

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The first days of John Prescott's Cyprus holiday were marred by a new row over his living accommodation in London. Old Labour he may be, but the Deputy Prime Minister is not shy when it comes to enjoying the life of a New Labour minister.

The first days of John Prescott's Cyprus holiday were marred by a new row over his living accommodation in London. Old Labour he may be, but the Deputy Prime Minister is not shy when it comes to enjoying the life of a New Labour minister.

Following in the tradition set in 1997 by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, he has spent £100,000 of taxpayers' money doing up his grace-and-favour London flat in Admiralty House, Whitehall.

The lavish revamp was revealed in a Commons written answer, which showed that £99,936 had been spent on renovation, while £11,139 had gone on "partial recarpeting"

Soon to return from holiday to take charge of the nation's affairs, Mr Prescott will have to face the criticism which has surrounded the refurbishment to his home.

The Conservatives were already demanding answers yesterday as to why Mr Prescott opted for 250 square metres of top-of-the-range Wilton carpet, priced at £38 a square metre.

A spokesman for the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, which Mr Prescott heads, said: "Admiralty House is a grade one listed building. The Cabinet Office is responsible for keeping the structure of the building in good repair.

"This happens under every government, so nothing has changed," he said. "The individual departments are responsible for the upkeep of the interior of the flats."

Mr Prescott has already gained a reputation for enjoying the good life, being dubbed "Two Jags" because he uses a pair of Jaguar motor cars, as well as owning a plush home in his Hull constituency - "Prescott Towers" - and a flat in Clapham, south London, which he rents from the RMT rail trade union.

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