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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Tories: Prescott costs 2m a year
Mr Prescott gave up Dorneywood but kept Admiralty Arch
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is costing taxpayers 2m a year, the Conservatives have claimed.

They say they reached the figure after series of parliamentary answers and reports on wages paid to his staff.

That includes 1.3m which is reportedly the wage bill for his 20-strong office and 195,000 a year for his grace-and-favour flat in London.

Mr Prescott's role has been under scrutiny since he was stripped of his portfolio in the May reshuffle.

That followed revelations that he had an affair with secretary Tracey Temple.

Mr Prescott has already given up his grace-and-favour country house Dorneywood, following a media storm after he was photographed playing croquet with staff.

Empire building?

Constitutional affairs spokesman Oliver Heald said: "Despite being stripped of his department, John Prescott is desperately clinging onto his perks - and the taxpayer is left to pick up the tab.

"The deputy prime minister's drastically reduced portfolio has left people wondering why he is still costing them so much money for apparently so little.

"His new private office is growing and will no doubt grow bigger as he gets back to his bad old ways of empire building in Whitehall."

As well as the costs of his flat the Tories highlight Mr Prescott's 133,997 salary, pensions contributions worth 35,911 and allowances in 2004/5 of 105,494.

Then there is his official car which the Conservatives say costs 49,000, other travel 93,034 and his Whitehall office at 64,267.

The Tories also claim the cost of rebranding the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was up to 12,000, and they estimated maintaining his new website would cost 30,000 a year.


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