by Celia Walden
The last day of the Labour conference will never be the same again: now that John Prescott has left office, who is there to fill the final rabble-rousing slot?
But if you are already missing the incomparably mangled rhetoric of the former deputy prime minister, I have good news: Prezza is now available for hire.
He has signed up with leading speakers’ agency Jeremy Lee Associates, which also represents the likes of William Hague, David Blunkett and Charles Kennedy.
The blurb from JLA highlights some of Prescott’s serious political interests – such as regeneration, housing and his experience at the Kyoto negotiations – not to mention trumpeting his role advising the Chinese Government on its plans to build a thousand new ”sustainable” cities. But his many brushes with scandal do not escape notice.
“Always a colourful character, Prescott is also known for a number of controversial episodes – not least punching the farmer who threw an egg at him during the 2001 election,” it states.
Jeremy Lee is delighted to have the political bruiser on his books – although he would not be drawn on what kind of fee he would expect to command. “I’m anticipating demand for him for keynote addresses and after-dinner speeches and in both cases there’s a lot he can draw on,” says Lee.
“The initial response has been a staggering amount of interest.”