Blair will join campaign trail, says Prescott

TONY Blair will join the Labour Party on the campaign trial for this year's general election, John Prescott revealed this week. Former Deputy Prime Minister Mr Prescott attended a fundraising event on last Thursday for Hornsey and Wood Green

Katie Davies

TONY Blair will join the Labour Party on the campaign trial for this year's general election, John Prescott revealed this week.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Mr Prescott attended a fundraising event on last Thursday for Hornsey and Wood Green Labour candidate Karen Jennings.

Speaking to the Ham&High after the meeting, Mr Prescott said all party figures past and present will be doing everything they can to ensure a Labour victory.


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"I think he [Blair] will go around telling people what a successful period it was," Mr Prescott said. "He was a successful Prime Minister. There were some mistakes and difficulties but Tony is a very powerful personality and popular, people still come out for Tony. He may do one or two meetings with Gordon, I am sure.

"They are two powerful political figures who produced a great three victories for Labour and you can't ignore that, the electorate don't get duped.

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"Now there is a possibility of a fourth term. The challenge is getting our own people out to make sure people turn out or don't go to the liberals.

"It is not a Liberal government they want to worry about is a Tory one and to stop that they must return a Labour MP."

Mr Prescott is taking the fight online, focusing his efforts on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook as well as the traditional battle bus, door-stepping approach.

He admits he was a reluctant "cyber warrior" at first: "I set up a Facebook account and I had 5,000 friends. I didn't know I had 5,000 friends in my life."

But now he is hooked.

"It is an important development in politics - there is another network for us," he said.

"I ran a campaign against taxpayers paying the bankers' bonuses and 30,000 people signed that petition in a week online," he said. "You couldn't get that in a year normally."

Mr Prescott used Thursday's event to point out the online fun that is being had with Conservative campaign literature such as David Cameron's billboards.

He showed witty replacement slogans such as: "Toff on crime, toff on the causes of crime".

He said Ms Jennings would be the best representative for Hornsey and Wood Green: "She's a good candidate. It is good to see a public sector worker, a nurse a trade unionist and a woman as a candidate."

"It is a constituency that should be Labour - it really is Labour. I think we took a hammering there over Iraq.

"It was interesting though that a lot of people who had left the Labour party came to the meeting and joined back up."

Mr Prescott also defended himself and the Prime Minister against recently publicised complaints of bullying.

He said: "The civil service is run by a board and these complaints were against the board. It was civil servants against civil servants.

"But the press see me and I am a character that fits in with what people think a bully looks like and it is totally untrue but that's the press.

"The press are caught on Gordon. On the one hand they say he is dithering and now all of a sudden he is a bully. They can't have it both ways.

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