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Friday, 18 May, 2001, 19:04 GMT
Police quiz Prescott
John Prescott has been interviewed by police in connection with the brawl with a protester in Wales.
Officers travelled to Hull on Friday afternoon to interview him following Wednesday's confrontation outside a Labour rally.
Mr Prescott voluntarily attended an interview at Queens Gardens Police Station, in Hull.
Millions of television viewers saw Mr Prescott punch farm protester Craig Evans who had thrown an egg from short-range at the deputy prime minister who was visiting a theatre in Rhyl.
Mr Evans, from Denbigh, was arrested but later released on police bail until the middle of June while inquiries continue.
Mr Prescott has said the incident was "regrettable" and has received the backing of the prime minister.
A Labour spokesman confirmed that three members of Mr Prescott's staff also gave statements to North Wales police.
He had earlier rejoined his battlebus on Friday and hit the campaign trail wearing a hard hat.
The deputy prime minister used the Prescott Express for the first time since Wednesday's fracas in North Wales to visit the AMEC Shipyard in Tyne and Wear.
Some journalists were ordered to leave before Mr Prescott arrived, despite having previously been cleared by security, and the deputy prime minister declined to give any interviews.
Mr Prescott spent some time touring the site and shared a joke about eggs with workers in the shipyard's canteen.
Labour's former sports minister Tony Banks has added his voice to those who say Mr Prescott was justified in punching a protester who threw an egg at him.
He described the blow as "a very good left-hander, instinctive and on target and perfectly justified.
"Almost anyone else would have done the same. You have an egg thrown at you from 18 inches away. It hurts. It really does hurt,"
Earlier, Home Secretary Jack Straw gave a personal view suggesting Mr Prescott could escape charges for his involvement in Wednesday's incident.
He said the law allowed individuals to take action, such as Mr Prescott's punch, "in certain circumstances".
Mr Straw added: "Politics is a rumbustious affair and so far as John Prescott is concerned, I think people have very widespread sympathy with him for what happened."
A Labour Party spokesman said the deputy prime minster would not be giving any interviews at the shipyard.
In a statement, Mr Prescott said: "I'm continuing my campaign here in the North East to see for myself the new life being breathed back into shipping.
"I'm proud of Labour's record that one million tonnes of shipping has returned to the UK flag since 1997.
"I'm delighted to be visiting AMEC, the yard which recently secured a major contract from Nigeria in which I played some part.
"This will bring thousands of new jobs to this area and will be a big boost to the North East ship building industry."
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