Scottish independence: With 'Better Together' written on his hand, John Prescott wasn't taking any chances on the stump

Former Deputy Prime Minister also jokingly suggested combining Scottish and English football teams

Click to follow
The Independent Online

John Prescott rolled into Scotland yesterday with a handwritten note on the back of his hand, which helpfully reminded him whom he was there to support.

The former Deputy Prime Minister plainly did not want to risk forgetting that "Better Together" is the official name of the pro-Union campaign.

As well as having the reminder on his hand, notes he had scribbled down on a piece of paper also reminded him to tell the crowd that “I’m Welsh, northern, Yorks., as well as British” – with the word British twice underlined.

His flying visit to Rutherglen produced some bad-tempered exchanges between supporters of the two sides in Scotland’s referendum. On a day when all the leaders of the three main parties, including David Cameron, were in Scotland for a united show of opposition to independence, Lord Prescott went off message with an attack on the Prime Minister and the Conservatives.

He told the crowd: "If he can get rid of the Scots in the Westminster Parliament, he will have an English parliament representing 53 million people against - if you go for separation - five million Scots. Do you think they are going to be favourable towards you? No."

He added: "We in the northern areas and the English regions look to your support to make sure we are able to deal with a massive Tory vote."

He was barracked by the crowd when he jokingly suggested combining the English and Scottish football teams, in the hope that together they could beat Germany.