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Friday, 18 May, 2001, 12:58 GMT
That Prescott punch - what you said

We have had hundreds of emails on the fracas in north Wales involving the deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Mr Prescott has insisted he was defending himself when he punched a protester who pelted him with an egg as he arrived to make a speech in Rhyl.

We asked: "Did John Prescott overreact?"

Early analysis of our emails indicated that some 60% were in favour of Mr Prescott.

Here are some of your replies.

Prescott may have a defence of provocation or self-defence, but that is for the courts to decide, not the police. He should have been arrested and charged for assault like the egg-thrower. It seems there is one law for Tony's cronies and one for everyone else.
Rob, Kent

The funniest thing I've seen on TV in months

Jim, Cambridge, UK
The funniest thing I've seen on TV in months. If only more politicians behaved like normal people, I might bother voting in future.
Jim, Cambridge, UK

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien had a similar incident with a protester several years ago. He punched a man whilst trying to enter the House of Commons and claimed it was self-defence. Perhaps Mr Prescott is taking a page out of Mr Chretien's book. His party went on to win their third-straight election.
Jason Ryle, Toronto, Canada

All credit to John Prescott. I think people ought to climb down from their high horses and stop being so PC! It reminds me of the Cantona incident, where people were baying for his blood after he kicked out at a racist fan. Cantona reacted to bully boy tactics by giving the culprit some of his own medicine. Bravo to John he's a good egg!
J Spuggs, London

How can a person at this level of government show this kind of aggressive attitude with a member of the public? Obviously the protester was an idiot and should have been arrested for the initial assault but for a role model and potential leader of the country to punch first then ask questions later is beyond reproach.
Dominic Fern, Edinburgh, Scotland

Prescott is hard-nosed enough to have taken this without a violent reaction

Mick Willis, Northampton
The electorate have been throwing vegetables and eggs at politicians for centuries - this does not make it right, but Prescott is hard-nosed enough to have taken this without a violent reaction. With such a short fuse it's quite scary to think what he would do if he had HIS finger on the nuclear button. He should resign.
Mick Willis, Northampton

The reason why so many defend Prescott's right to throw the punch is because so many of our citizens have been brought up in countries where there is no law and order and that this is acceptable behaviour. And for those that don't they see it in the media. Our society is operating as if there is no law and order and this is endorsed by our leaders.
Bill, UK

Why hasn't John Prescott been charged with assault? If he had been a football player there would have been no hesitation
Colin Stangroom, Strathlachlan, Argyll

If someone attacks another person without provocation, the victim has the right of self-defence

Mary, Gloucester, UK
Was John Prescott trespassing? No. Then he has the right to pass safely and without harassment. If someone attacks another person without provocation, the victim has the right of self-defence. If JP is to be faulted it's that he did not take a box of eggs and a couple of custard tarts along with him.
Mary, Gloucester, UK

It is obvious that people are showing support for their political parties in their reactions to this incident, but step back a moment and consider your reaction to it if you were from another country, I think you'd be appalled.
Tom Styles, Sydney Australia

Who is retaliating, Prescott or the farm labourer working in an industry being ruined by government policy? What would you do if the government were threatening to take away your livelihood? Prescott is choosing to be ignorant of the man's reasons for throwing the egg, and he should be removed from government.
Andy Austin, UK

While your correspondent said "Mr Blair has time and again lectured his MPs and ministers on the need for discipline during the election campaign," what is the justification for a protester to throw an egg at John Prescott? I would feel ashamed of freedom of action if throwing eggs at others represents a rightful means to express dissatisfaction.
Clemente Lowe, Hong Kong

Nice one John- you have clinched my vote!

Mike Higham, Sheffield
Fantastic connection with his left fist. Lennox Lewis should watch the clip and take notes. Nice one John- you have clinched my vote!
Mike Higham, Sheffield,

John Prescott was right! He has been harshly treated by press and public when he has had a hard job to do. Why not leave him alone, and appreciate the good he has done for this country. A bully he is not.

Everybody has the right to voice opinions and concerns, but violence crosses the line between legitimate opinions and outright thuggery. John reacted in the same way most people would have done. It is incredible for people to claim that those in the public eye should expect to be a target for any thug with an opinion. John did nothing wrong.
Michael Doherty, London, UK

Politicians are people and they should be afforded the same rights. They should also expect the same consequences.

Paul, London
It's interesting to read the comments, but how many people have actually had an egg thrown hard at their face from such close proximity? I would think that it felt like a punch. Whilst verbal abuse is to be expected, how many of us would have taken the obscenity also hurled at John Prescott by the same man at the same time (listen to the news report carefully). Democratic argument and protest is fair and reasonable, but the actions of the protester could not be classified as that. Politicians are people and they should be afforded the same rights. They should also expect the same consequences.
Paul, London

Egg throwing happens but it is not traditional. How many people would sit back and let someone throw an egg from such close proximity. It is a hooligan act that prompted an unfortunate but wholly understandable reaction.
John Edwards, UK

Having watched the incident on TV it is clear that this was not a random egg-throwing incident hoping to hit its target. The assailant whacked the egg into the side of Mr Prescott's head. This would certainly have been painful and felt very much like a punch. The reaction was quite understandable.
Tony Pearson, England

It has long been clear that Prescott and the rest of the Labour Party feel that they are above criticism

Andrew Rigby, Great Bookham
It has long been clear that Prescott and the rest of the Labour Party feel that they are above criticism. It now seems they feel they are above the law as well. Of course people should not resort to throwing eggs or use any kind of physical protest, but Prescott's reaction was extreme and showed him for what he is, a bully. No-one should meet force with force, least of all a man supposedly second in command of a nation. Public officials should command respect and exude decency by acting in a statesman-like manner.
Andrew Rigby, Great Bookham, Surrey

At the end of the day, he's a politician in the limelight. Would he 'instinctively' lie if caught unawares? Would he instinctively drive off if he had an accident? Where do you draw the line? Resignation is the only option. Very few people outside of politics hold the man in high esteem, and he has been doing the Labour Party more harm than good for a long time.
Mark, London England

The political alliances are starting to show in some of the responses here. My take is that it was great left hook and a waste of an egg. I think I would have done the same thing, even if I were a deputy prime minister!
James Barber, France

I guess the egg at close-range must have caused some pain, hence the reaction. However I've never liked John Prescott so good on the protestors- keep it up!
Colin Scott, Birmingham, UK

It's OK for the Deputy Prime Minister to act in self defence, but Tony Martin gets sentenced for doing the same. Labour's double standards say tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime, as long as no one in the Labour Party is committing those crimes. Television evidence shows John Prescott throwing the first punch. The law is a joke under Labour.

It's a worrying thing that so many people percieve violence to be acceptable

Geoff, Cheshire
It's a worrying thing that so many people percieve violence to be acceptable and lauding a man of dubious stature for committing a violent criminal act. The protester was wrong as well but at least he looked at who he was attacking instead of lashing out blindly.
Geoff, Cheshire, UK

How would other people have liked it if someone had deliberately rammed an egg in their face? I don't know if people expected John Prescott to stand there and allow someone to attack him with something that could easily have been a knife or a gun. Anyway what happened to the security that was supposed to watching his back?
A.M, London

What message does this send out to the young? If this happened on a football pitch he would be sent off.
Jacqui C , England

Whether you throw a punch or an egg. The first to throw is the assaulter. John was defending himself. There should be a law a against missile throwing. It is a common assault.
James Butler, London

People think it was a good left hook. My wife has hit me harder than that.

John Evans, Reading
So people think it was a good left hook. My wife has hit me harder than that. Both protagonists should be treated the same way, as members of the public, and charged with affray.
John Evans, Reading, UK

I have noticed that people do not have respect for their leaders in this country. For how long will people humiliate John and other leaders? There are limits to what a man can take. His action could be excused, although he could do with more self control
Femi Alabi, London

It was good to see John Prescott reacting as most of us would do if a projectile was hurled from that proximity. The egg-thrower's behaviour will distance politicians from the people as they will become screened by American style teams of security agents. This will certainly not damage Labour and if anything has reinforced the likelihood of voting for them.
Andrew Cover, London, UK

He didn't know what was thrown at him from a foot away

K Kambo, UK
I don't think Mr Prescott overreacted. He didn't know what was thrown at him from a foot away. It's instinctive to defend yourself. Good on him.
K Kambo, UK

I think that it was fair enough for him to retaliate. But the fact is that if he wasn't a politician he would of been arrested. Why is there one set of rules for them and another set of rules for us?
Vicky Evans, Kent, England

Politician or not, nobody should be subjected to aggressive physical protests. Sharron Storer got her message across in a far clearer manner without throwing eggs! I would rather have Mr. Prescott representing my interests than anyone who could stay calm in such a threatening situation as Mr. Hague claims he would!
Jamie Benning, Bromley, Kent

The footage shows how it really happened, but the public will remember what they're told to remember.
Dan Peters, UK

These farmers are complaining about their hardships and at the same time wasting good eggs

Adam, Sheffield
The irony of it all is that these farmers are complaining about their hardships and at the same time wasting good eggs. The kid deserved a good slapping, nice one John.
Adam, Sheffield

John Prescott did not even look around to see where the egg had come from before he hit out.
Anna Taylor, London

There's far too much of this egg-throwing going on. As perpetrators of a senseless violent act, the egg-throwers should expect to be treated with the same contempt. May I congratulate Mr Prescott on a well-aimed first punch, and advise him next time to follow up with a couple of body-shots.
Mike Stroud, London

It's time people were allowed to defend themselves. Well done John.
Neil, Colne,Lancs

Of course he shouldn't have reacted but the man was very close to him and I think most of us would have done the same instinctively. At least it shows he is human, though I wonder if he would have been so brave without the police and bodyguards close by.
John Shackleton, Bournemouth

Politicians should expect to be pelted with eggs? Is that really the society we live in?
Michael Williams, Ely, UK

I despair at how devalued our political system has become

Flip, London
I despair at how devalued our political system has become when people defend Prescott's contemptible behaviour. I am a Labour voter with certain reservations, but Prescott, Straw and Cook in particular have displayed none of the qualities suitable for any form of leadership. The man is an ageing bully who should have had both the good sense and the good humour to resist being drawn into the fray over a fairly common form of protest. Let us praise the power of the simple egg.
Flip, London,UK

Striking out and punching someone for mild provocation is not acceptable for any public figure, let alone the Deputy Prime Minister. If this was a footballer his club and the FA would take sanctions. Look at what happened to Eric Cantona following the kicking incident.
Mark Taber, Bristol, Somerset

Prescott claims self defence. From what - an egg?

Philip Wright, Derby, England
Personally I cannot understand why the man who threw the egg is the one who is to be charged with assault. Surely John Prescott should be the one who should have to answer that charge. He claims self defence. From what - an egg? It seems that people in this day and age are not afraid to make their feelings felt and many people are upset at the current state of the country.
Philip Wright, Derby, England

Good on you John, I only wish you could have thumped that idiot harder. I'm totally in support of John. It is natural to defend oneself. Being a politician does not make one a superhuman!
Victor, Birmingham, UK

By law everyone can use "reasonable force" to defend themselves. From my viewing of the video Prescott wasn't defending himself but retaliating. Of course many other people would have done the same. However the law would still regard the retaliation as a crime. Had Prescott not been a minister of the crown he would have found himself in court along with the other guy.
Willie Black, Edinburgh

Perfectly legit! Prescott clearly sorted this nasty little Herbert and so he should. There's ways to many people being treated like doormats by these characters. If this bloke had have received a few more sortings earlier on in his life this may not have happened. Hague's just envious, 'cause he wouldn't have the balls to fight back! Good one John!
Dave (Ex Pat), Vancouver, Canada

In the same situation a tabloid journalist or BBC reporter would have done exactly the same

Robert Stewart, Alyth, Scotland
I do not find it a surprise that a pro-hunting activist would make his point through the use of stupid behaviour! Personally it is my opinion that while children are starving in Africa none of us have the right to throw food at our government. I have no doubt that if in the same situation as Mr Prescott a tabloid journalist or BBC reporter would have done exactly the same and have been respected for it.
Robert Stewart, Alyth, Scotland

Sack him.
Steve, London

If it's a "time honoured tradition" in Rhyl that visitors are pelted with eggs then I'm crossing Rhyl off my list of potential holiday destinations. John Prescott's reaction was quite understandable in the circumstances and I'd like to ask why those people who are always complaining that we've been stripped of the right to defend ourselves and our property are objecting when a man does precisely that.
Bill, London, UK

Did John Prescott really see who threw the egg? if he did not the implications are very serious. Thank goodness he is not a member of a peacekeeping force. The video shows Prescott throwing a well-aimed punch at a man who is clearly laughing at him. but then he never could take a yoke.
C. Cooper, Carmarthen, Wales

We are being over-run by middle class and upper class politicians trying to pretend they are normal just to get our vote. At last we have somebody who acts normal in an instinctive way.
Andrew Crowe, UK

If Mr Prescott's punch proved fatal he would have to spend time behind Bars - like so many other innocent people placed in a similar situation - defending themselves against such thuggish behaviour. The thug/criminal always wins!
Gary, Reading

We demand that we have access to our politicians. This does leave them open to the potential for being assaulted

Patrick Mcfadyen, Belgium
John Prescott's reaction's were in my mind totally justified. We demand that we have access to our politicians and they allow that to happen. This does unfortunately leave them open to the potential for being assaulted by people like the mindless thug who attacked him yesterday. Prescott is being vilified for over reacting. Given the proximity of the coward who attacked him, what if it had been a knife, acid or some other more dangerous weapon, I suppose the goody goody people of the world would still find an excuse for the attack. Like all others in the world, John Prescott has a right to safe passage when going about his legitimate business and has the right to protect himself if required.
Patrick Mcfadyen, Scot In Belgium

John Prescott is sticking up for the rights of the common man - he gives the Labour party a much-needed human touch. Well done, John.
Chris, London

It's not right that someone should have an egg land on them, but Prescott's reaction says more about the man than a thousand stage managed press conferences can.
Simon Moppett, Slough, UK

I think John Prescott's reaction is quite understandable. He was assaulted, retaliated and I say "Fair play John!" As far as I am concerned his reputation is enhanced. The Human Face of Politics!
Harriet, London UK

I think John Prescott reacted as any normal human being would when attacked. He defended himself!
Jennie Charmers, Kingston upon Thames

A Labour minister who has delivered something at last....not quite what we had in mind John!
Mark W, Manchester, UK

I am no fan of New Labour, or old Labour (George Brown apart). However surely it is the right of all of us to defend ourselves? May I assure you that in the event of any yob, protesting or otherwise, hitting me with an egg I would respond in exactly the way Prescott did. This is no matter for resignation. This is no matter for Hague, or any other, to play politics with. It is a matter that we should all be concerned about: the fact that egg throwers and beaters of old ladies and old men, can expect to get away with it.
B.G. Wells, Palm Beach, USA

The media once again is making a much ado about nothing. This is purely a police matter now and it should remain so. At the end of the day, it does not matter if Prescott punches someone or not only the issues that directly affect us as citizens should matter. That's what's important.
Mike W, Boston. US(UK Citizen)

I guess I must be one of those "ugly" Americans" that people talk about. I feel Mr. Prescott was perfectly justified to punch the egg thrower.
Frank Williams, Tinley Park, IL, USA

No one has mentioned the protester's disgraceful mullet. Anyone sporting a haircut like that should be arrested on sight.
Dafyd Gunar, Copthorne

I think that what Mr Prescott did was totally wrong, especially coming from the man who in 1994 said that although he could 'get angry', he made 'rational decisions' and did not 'pursue vendettas or punch people on the nose'. Personally, I believe that the question asked here gives a false impression. I am sure that if the question was 'Would it have been better for Prescott to walk on than to punch the man in the face?', then the response would have been quite different.
Daniel Howdon, Washington, England

That egg must have hurt and I can well understand the reaction of Prescott

Bill Freeman, Solihull, England
The key point here is the proximity of the thrower. That egg must have hurt and I can well understand the reaction of John Prescott, I would have done exactly the same.
Bill Freeman, Solihull, England

John Prescott's an idiot. It's as simple as that. This will be shown all around the world now, just before our general election. How do you think it will look to have our second in command punching members of the public? Apart from all that, the egg was deserved anyway as 80% tax on petrol is disgusting. What makes it worse, half of the public back him. This, plain & simply is violence - and we should repute it, not encourage it!!
Will, London

Good on 'im. Instead of standing there grinning and pretending nothing had happened he reacted like we all would. A human reaction to a personal attack. Don't condemn his reaction until it has happened to you. A human reaction from a politician though? Whatever Next?
Will, UK, Stafford

How can anyone defend the actions of Prescott? Having viewed the incident, anyone can see that he deliberately threw a punch in temper as oposed to an automatic reaction. Although I do not agree with the throwing of the egg, It'll be interesting to see whether the protestor is charged with assault, or if it's all dropped to avoid Prescott being charged as well, as he should
Meirion Jones, Porthcawl, South Wales

A bad reaction to a bad event, perhaps both parties are at fault - no different from the last two choices of government!!
Darren, Tiverton, UK

Here is a Minister of the Crown whose instant response is to thump someone

Phil Westwood, St. Albans, England
What is an illustration of how low we have sunk, is your litany of shallow responses supporting John Prescott, and how sad we now condone thuggish behaviour on the grounds of provocation. Here is a Minister of the Crown whose instant response is to thump someone. What an example to children. Heaven help us if Blair gets ill and Libya, say, starts making bellicose threats? Would we be so pleased then to have Deputy PM 'knee jerk' John's finger near the nuclear button.
Phil Westwood, St. Albans, England

What stupid comment from Phil Westwood of St. Albans, if he is worried about fingers on buttons he should look across the pond at Bush in the White House. Prescott was reacting to a blow on the back of the head, a naturally human reaction from a personnel attack.
Dave Watts, Newport, South Wales

Well done, John! He was assaulted: he defended himself. The smirk was well and truly wiped from his assailants face. It's funny how the Tories want John's head for responding, in a quite natural way, to a thug - not a 'legitimate protestor' as they would have it. If this had been at a European football match and he was 17, wearing a football shirt, and a basesball cap, this 'protestor' would have been described by the Tories as 'a disgraceful lager lout who should be soundly flogged.' Bloody hypocrites!
Graham Handforth, Hull, Yorkshire

In recent years it seems John Prescott has been trying to develop a softer, more voter-friendly image. Yesterday his natural instincts surfaced for all to see, and it wasnt a pretty sight. Its scary to think that in under a month this man could (theoretically) be Home Secretary ! If a policeman or teacher retaliated in the same way they would probably end up in Court as well as losing their job.
Malcolm Watson, Aberdeen, Scotland

While this whole fiasco goes on, I need to keep asking myself, did Mr Prescott really feel threatened by getting an egg thrown at him? I would wonder. This type of behavior is inexcusable,expecially if the man who recieved the blow did not throw the egg. If the leader of the opposition was to react like this everytime he recieved aggressive opposition, there would be a significant number of black eyes in Britain. Perhaps this incident reflects that there is now a time for change of government.
Neil White , Chairman of Young Conservatives, Kirkcaldy, Scotland

It is plain from the TV footage that a missile thrown at such close range and from behind would feel like a punch. Any man worth his salt would have reacted the same way. Well done John Prescott.
Chris, Guildford

Well done John for reacting as a human being not a robotic, sycophantic politician

Mark Kerr, London, England
Is this a new Labour policy for dealing with the current glut of whining farmers, selfish fuel protesters and the countryside alliance to name but a few? Good one John, I am sick to the stomach seeing and hearing these self appointed 'guardians of democracy' spouting inanities and assuring anyone who will listen that they are the voice of the people. Once again, well done John for reacting as a human being not a robotic, sycophantic politician .
Mark Kerr, London, England

A friend of mine has just been handed down a fine of 250 and 60 hours community service for a similar 'provoked' incident. Let's see Mr. Prescott being given the same. The 60 hours shouldn't matter to him because, as Tony Blair says, "he cares about his country".
Tom, UK

Yesterday's papers carried the story of an old soldier who reacted to young thugs who terrorised him in his own home. He was arrested and charged and ultimately took his own life. Should not John Prescott be arrested and charged for his reaction.
Gary E, Plymouth, England

'Two Jags' Prescott certainly lost his rag yesterday ! I think he has gone and damaged the reputation and credibility of his party again- typical Labour, pull punches first, regret actions/apologise later.
Simon, Near London

John Prescott deserves a medal; any sane and brave person would have reacted in exactly the same manner. Besides the egg-throwing protester needed a punch just for his hairstyle.
Nindy, Derby UK

Who can blame him for reacting like that? I am more likely to vote for them now!!
Will McInnes, Brighton, UK

I saw it several times on TV. The egg would clearly have hurt. John Prescott turned to the protestor who was laughing and saying something (what?) and he then sort of hit him with his left fist. If he was serious about it he would surely have followed through with his right and made sure the guy didn't get on top of him! Surely, if Prescott is to be criticised for over-reacting then certainly the protestor should be too.
William, Skelmersdale, UK

The question I want to ask is: "Where were Mr Prescott's body guard who were meant to be guarding him?" I don't blame him for reacting. After all politicians are mere mortals too. I am proud to say in Mr Prescott we have a fine heavy weight boxer. Any manager or coach will be too happy to have him in their ranks.
Yomi Adenuga, London, England.

I'm more concerned with Prescott's political performance than with his boxing performance

Martyn Williams, London, UK
I'm more concerned with Prescott's political performance and his failure to reduce traffic as he promised - than with his boxing performance.
Martyn Williams, London, UK

With strong debates criticising people from defending their households without assistance from police. John Prescott with police guard had no need/reason to "defend" himself with a punch to the face. The egg had already been thrown. What was he protecting himself from?
Sarah, Bradford, UK

Maybe we should allow politicians to carry around their own supply of eggs. At least that way any retaliation will be equal to the provocation.
Ben, York, UK

No wonder we need more police on the streets. They seemed slow to react to the situation. If it was a normal member of public, the police would be duty bound to arrest both of them. Double standards... well that's politics.
Richard, Colchester, UK

I find it funny the way people have been complaining about Prescott's tactics. All this week we have seen people saying the criminal justice system is on the side of the criminal and not the victim. Yes, his reaction was over the top and as a politician he has to be seen above reproach but if someone did it to you, would you just stand there and take it? At least we see a politician behaving like the majority of us. What is sickening is the Tory's trying to capitalise on it. I suppose you can't expect anything else as they don't have any real policies to talk about
Mike, Bristol, UK

Prescott's assault on the egg thrower showed the world what most smart people have known for years: that too many politicians are brutish egomaniacs. His totally over the top reaction gave us a rare glimpse of his true colours.
Stuart Kennedy, Glasgow, UK

Well done John, you've just won a new vote for Labour
Martin, UK

Hague and the Tories have no grounds for attacking Prescott. When the Tony Martin bandwagon was rolling, Hague though it was okay to shoot somebody in the back when running away, a punch when under attack just doesn't bare comparison.
Michael Carter, London, UK

We can sympathise with his instincts, but it was very, very unstatesmanlike. But we've always known that he's no statesman.
Eric Porter, Aylesbury, UK

I think John Prescott reacted like most men in a similar situation would.

Liz, Heidelberg, Germany
That egg must have really hurt! I think John Prescott reacted like most men in a similar situation would. Being a woman, I would probably have just burst out crying!
Liz, Heidelberg, Germany

John Prescott, it would seem from TV pictures, completely over-reacted and committed a criminal offence. The fact that he won't even apologise for the incident is proof that maybe he is not the ideal representative for Britain today. Stand down John your country needs you to
Michael, London

Whether you think John Prescott was right or not for punching the egg thrower, it should not let us cloud our judgement as to whether this was instinctive or not. Mr Prescott's reaction was not an immediate response; he turned, found his target and punched - it was calculated. It shows the action of a man so convinced of his superiority that he feels above the law.
Andrew M, Exeter, UK

I haven't laughed so much while watching the news for ages!
Simon Taylor, UK

Politicians should not expect eggs and custard pies, they should expect at least minimal protection, because one of these days it won't be a pie or an egg, it will be a knife, crowbar or bullet. Prescott did what many of us would have done. There was no protection, he didn't see what hit him, the assailant is big - what did you expect? The police should have prevented this from happening in the first place.
Melissa Gough, UK

John Prescott's reaction was one of pure instinct, in response to what was clearly a frightening and painful blow to the side of his head. What is sickening is the way that the opposition parties are trying to point score rather than congratulate JP on chinning this yob.
Bernie Croal, Aberdeen, scotland

Being hit at point blank range by an egg which was thrown with some force would provoke a reaction from any normal person. Do people really expect politicians to accept this kind of behaviour ? Good for you John for sticking up for yourself.
Douglas Edwards, UK

We should change the nick-name from 2 Jags to Slugger. He's got my vote and I was a Tory.
Arthur Drake, London, England

This is all very funny but I can't believe that people are actually deciding to vote one way or another after this. Surely the election should be taken a little more seriously?
Simon, London

Being hit at point blank range with an egg is unacceptable - Mr Prescott fought fire with fire

Dave, Watford, UK
Hats off to Mr. Prescott - why should he resign or apologise for his behaviour? Being hit at point blank range with an egg is unacceptable - Mr. Prescott fought fire with fire. I'm glad to see that he is human like the rest of us
Dave, Watford, UK

John Prescott is a politician who enjoys the privileges his position brings. He in turn should expect some criticism in his role. He totally over-reacted in assaulting the protester, he is entitled, as a citizen, to act in self-defence but assaulting the protester clearly exceeds these bounds and Prescott should be held responsible under law for his reaction.
Mark Melaniphy, Worthing, UK

John Prescott did, what every normal human being should do under the circumstances. In my opinion, politicians lying to and fooling the public are much more guilty than a man, purely defending himself against a sudden physical attack. The talk about "a statesman so important should behave differently" seems bizarre to me. Where was the police then, to protect "such a high level and important person" ? Regards
Zafer Arapkirli, London, UK

If Two Punch Prescott was right on this, then so are the hundreds of victims who end up being prosecuted by the CPS for defending themselves. I hope this episode sets a much-needed legal precedent.
Ian Mitchell, UK/USA

So it's John "Two Jabs" Prescott now is it? Well done that man, if the lad in the crowd is brave enough to throw eggs he must be brave enough to take a smack in the face. Good luck to Mr Prescott.
Zobo Kolonie, Centurion, South Africa

Having watched the incident several times I firmly believe Mr Prescott totally overreacted, and did so in the worst possible manner - a manner which appeared to inflame the crowd further - Mr Prescott should probably count himself lucky that the situation did not get more violent as a result of his actions. Both he, and the idiot with the egg should be charged by the police.
Garry Marshall, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland

He has taken over Paddy's mantle as the action man politician

Andy, Surrey, UK
Good old John my hero, I am now voting Labour. He has taken over Paddy's mantle as the action man politician. Must be worth at least +2% on the opinion polls.
Andy, Farnham, Surrey, UK

Maybe Mr Prescott should not have thrown the punch but the disgusting creature of a protestor had no right to spit an egg at Mr Prescott.
Geoff Hanlan, Cardiff Wales

He should not have to resign as a result of his reaction to extreme provocation but the incident reflects the growing frustrations of the country with the political process.
Chris Wood, London, UK

Whilst he is 'only human', he is the Deputy Prime Minister of the fourth biggest economy in the world. It is to be expected that eggs will be thrown, abuse will be shouted, if he can't take the occasional custard pie, he should stick to serving drinks on cruise liners.
Colin Bloom, London, UK

Mr. Hague wishes he could get some publicity like this. Well done John. Nobody expects a politician to let himself be beaten up by some antisocial elements.
Wolfgang, London, England

Hi, I've recently moved to Canada but follow news in the UK every day. My comment is, how on earth did the police protection people allow this to happen? Why aren't the press hauling them over the coals, instead of critisising Prescott for a natural human reaction to being attacked? If it had been a grenade and not an egg then the story would have been very different.
Sean Williams, Ottawa, Canada

Well-done John Prescott. Let's just remember that the 29 year old thug committed a crime against the person. Everyone is entitled to self-defence, even the Deputy Prime Minister. Well done John, you've certainly got my vote.
Michael Cashman, Newport South Wales

Prescott reacted through sheer shock and surprise

Ben Duncan, Walsall, England
Prescott reacted through sheer shock and surprise - he literally didn't know what had hit him and consequently defended himself with nothing but pure natural instinct. Not guilty.
Ben Duncan, Walsall, England

I've heard the judges were unanimous in their decision. Prescott wins by KO.
Paul Davidson, England

The media, when reporting Wednesday's two 'protests', did not emphasise the fact that they came from the opposite ends of the political spectrum: one person complained to the Prime Minister about the, in her view, inadequate amount of public money spent on hospital services, while Mr Prescott's attacker was protesting at the, in his view, excessive taxes on fuel. Hospital and other services are financed by public money, and I fear that any political party which claims the centre ground will be forever caught between the electorate's desire for low taxes and the electorate's desire for ever-improving services.
Greg Holmes, Barnstable, UK

I have read various articles concerning the incident, and I am off the opinion that politicians must not react in this way. While on the campaign trail he is going to get heckled and should hold his temper. My 9 year old watched it. Will he now take example from John Prescott and lash out if anybody annoys him?
David Dalton, London

John Prescott has been continually singled out and harangued by both press and public to intolerable levels - give the man a break !
Chris, Falkirk, Scotland

Regardless of which party John represents, or for that matter what job he does, no one should have to tolerate this oafish and vulgar behaviour. Rest assured if somebody did that to me in my working day they could expect the same response as John gave. Well done Johnny.
Mary Irish, Hull, East Yorkshire

The protester was lucky that he didn't try the same trick elsewhere i.e. the US, where he'd have been shot for his trouble. Why should elected officials be submitted to that kind of abuse. If you don't agree with John Prescott, Tony Blair, New Labour etc, use your hard-earned right to vote; this is a democracy not an anarchy (last time I looked, anyway).
Dave Hay, Winchester, UK

All the complaints about spin and being over planned - Prescott shows that he is the most UNSPUN politician in the country

Matt, UK
Absolutely fantastic stuff. All the complaints about spin and being over planned - Prescott shows that he is the most UNSPUN politician in the country. For all those who hark back to some golden era of honesty and directness - there you have it. My grandfather was a diehard northern Tory all his life but I know he always said if some attacks you - then hit them back just that little bit harder. Prescott as Two Jabs is perfect.
Matt, UK

Can we really trust a politician who can't keep cool under pressure? If anything was to happen to Tony Blair, he would be the person running the country - something I find rather frightening. The pictures clearly show it was deliberate retaliation rather than self-defence. He simply lost the plot for a few short seconds that he will probably regret it for the rest of his life. I seriously believe it will cost him his political career, and I would be interested to know why he wasn't arrested too. He isn't above the law.
Susie, Reading, UK

Fair play to him. What else would any normal individual do when provoked in such a way. I suppose these trendy liberals will slate him, role model, young people etc etc etc. I don't think he is a particular role model for young people anyway.
Keith Foley, Swindon, Wilts

You cannot expect anyone to 'switch off and act in a dignified manner' under such circumstances.

Alan Gunn, Peterborough, UK
Johnny "Two Jabs" Prescott was hit by a missile on the side of the head. Liquid (the contents of the egg) was running down his head into his collar. Who would naturally assume that it was an egg and not blood running down the side of your head? Certainly not me. JP obviously saw the grinning fool and took an instinctive action. You cannot expect anyone to 'switch off and act in a dignified manner' under such circumstances. Those who expect others to 'switch-off' have no understanding of the nature of instinctive reactions.
Alan Gunn, Peterborough, UK

He should have really had a go at the mullet headed muppet! Instead of the little forearm jab, what he wants to do is plant his feet firmly and swing through the hips thus transferring more power. Better luck next time.
Colin McGuiness, Bristol, England

One rule for them and another for us! If someone had thrown an egg at me and I had hit him then we would both have been arrested and no doubt I would be charged with assault. If you defend your home or person you face the risk of being charged. Unless you are an MP. There was no excuse, other high profile people have been pelted with eggs, pies and threatened with fake guns but they did not lash out. Let's see the British justice system in action, arrest both, charge both and let the courts decide just as they would for any normal person in the street.
K Brown, London, UK

A perfectly natural reaction. The man infringed his personal space, hit him in the back of the head, not with a cream bun, but a solid egg! Prescott didn't take aim and then throw a punch he simply reacted in a way anybody has the right to. Nice one John!

After the recent defeats inflicted on British boxers it's good to see we have a promising new heavyweight contender.
Simon Symes, Wokingham, England

According to Blair, Prescott should have been marched to a cash point and fined 100 on the spot!

George Watts, Fleet, Hampshire, UK
There is nothing political about this. Prescott hit someone in a manner that sees thousands convicted of ABH every year. Anyway, according to Blair, he should have been marched to a cash point and fined 100 on the spot! Labour goes on so much about this sort of thing. All our politicians are deeply hypocritical, but Labour raises the bar.
George Watts, Fleet, Hampshire, UK

Top Marks, John. It's about time we saw politicians react in the same way as the rest of us would. On the point of John resigning, I remember reading that a certain Tory PM once punched a well known reporter on the steps of Whitehall for daring to ask an impertinent question, so no one is whiter than white on this issue.
Steve, High Wycombe

What kind of message are we giving the rest of the world when our deputy prime minister is seen to be a thug. The man is a disgrace to his country and should be sacked, if not by Blair then by the electorate!
Rob Davey, London, UK

Do we want to see our politicians brawling in the street? Any other citizen who behaved as John Prescott did would stand a good chance of being arrested. He should be ashamed of himself.
S. Atkinson, Croyden

Prescott's 'human response' has struck a real chord with people

David Lee, London, UK
Ironically, what the newspapers have described as Labour's rockiest 24 hours could become a real turning point for the campaign, garnering votes for Labour from around the country. Judging by the majority of comments here, JP's 'human response' has struck a real chord with people - myself included.
David Lee, London, UK

The man who threw the egg deserved a punch just for sporting such a mullet.
Bobby H, Leamington Spa, UK

You, your party peers and your boss won't get my vote John but good on you for handing out a deserved slap.
Jeff, Bracknell, UK.

The offender, Mr egg-thrower, committed an assault and affray. Prescott used reasonable force to defend himself. Maybe it is no longer politically correct in this country for a man to defend himself and his property.
Paul Lowther, Hove

I think he reacted as anyone would do when hit, though someone in his position, who also has the protection of the police, should be more in control of his actions. Time and again we have seen him blow up over situations! He should go!!
Tom, London, UK

At last, a Labour response that wasn't issued by pager.
Simon, Swindon


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