BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
Prescott delights in new role
John Prescott and Tony Blair
Mr Prescott said his role would help him support Mr Blair
John Prescott has defied rumours his political career was all but over assuming responsibility for local government and the regions.

The deputy prime minister hailed the creation of a new office - clearly delighted that he was benefiting from the break-up of the department of transport, local government and regions.


These changes will enable me to support the prime minister more effectively

John Prescott
Former secretary of state Stephen Byers' responsibilities will now be shared between Mr Prescott and new Transport Secretary Alistair Darling.

Mr Prescott said in a statement: "I am delighted as deputy prime minister to see for the first time the creation of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister as a central department in its own right.

"These changes will enable me to support the prime minister more effectively right across the government's domestic and international responsibilities.

'Heavy hitter'

He added: "Working at the heart of government and Whitehall it will bring together key cross cutting issues such as social exclusion, housing and regeneration with regional and local delivery."

New policy would be formulated and the white paper containing proposals for English regional devolution will be moved forward.

"These policies - better housing, jobs, combating poverty, renewing democracy - matter to people and I have spent all of my political life fighting for them."

A spokesman for GMB union said it was right for a "heavy hitter" like John Prescott to take charge of local government.

'Media had their scalp'

"It is clear that the deputy prime minister is one of the big winners in this reshuffle," he said.

"It would appear that reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated."

Mr Prescott's return to what is part of his former brief was also hailed as timely by Bill Morris, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union.

Mr Morris added: "The media have had their scalp but now we want to see a return to government by the elected politicians...

"Let them now be freed up to concentrate on our transport, public services and manufacturing."


Latest stories

Analysis

Byers resignation

Main players

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

29 May 02 | UK Politics
29 May 02 | UK Politics
29 May 02 | UK Politics

E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes