[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Police consider Prescott claims
John Prescott
Scotland Yard is examining whether John Prescott broke the law
Claims John Prescott could have broken anti-corruption laws by staying on US billionaire Philip Anschutz's ranch are being examined by Scotland Yard.

There are claims the deputy prime minister may have breached the 1906 and 1916 Prevention of Corruption Acts by accepting hospitality from Mr Anschutz.

The American was bidding to turn the Millennium Dome into a 'super casino'.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said the force had so far not decided whether to investigate the complaints.

The anti-corruption acts cover gifts given to government employees by people seeking government contracts.

Hospitality questions

Complaints have been made to the police by Windsor-based businessman George Bathurst and Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker.

The Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that we have received several allegations alleging an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1906/1916 and we are considering their content.

"The allegations are in relation to hospitality or consideration received from a person or organisation which has obtained or is trying to obtain an official contract.

"No decision has been made as to whether the Metropolitan Police Service will investigate these allegations."

Mr Prescott has already fallen foul of parliamentary watchdogs for not immediately declaring his overnight stay at Mr Anschutz's Colorado ranch last July. He was also given a 600 cowboy outfit.

MPs on the Standards and Privileges Committee also expressed the view that he had breached the Ministerial Code, but Prime Minister Tony Blair decided not to launch an investigation.

The deputy prime minister says it was right he met Mr Anschutz, someone whose regeneration in east London was creating jobs and homes.

He says there was no conflict of interest as he was not involved in either casino licences or the sale of the Dome.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific