Wednesday, May 17

Parliamentary affairs

Today futher evidence was supplied by the Government that confirms that really are now becoming quite silly.
John Prescott, is now chairing the parlimentary sub-committe on domestic affairs !
Presscott will now 'chair' four more cabinet sub-committees than before the reshuffle, it has been announced, by Precott himself in the commons today.
Chairmanship of the constitutional affairs sub-committee and the electoral policy sub-committee has been transferred to Commons leader Jack Straw.

Prescott as well as chairing committees on domestic affairs, aging policy, (is there a policy that we must all get younger) public health, housing and planning, local and regional government, local government strategy and performance, inspection, animal rights activists and on the Post Office newtwork (how to close rural sub-posoffices without anyone noticing)

He will also stand in for the Prime Minister on seven other committees including anti-social behaviour (presumably on how to evict trouble makers from party confrences without hitting them in front of the media) energy and the environment, and schools policy.

A statement from Tony Blair also made clear that there was "no cost to public funds" from the deputy prime minister's use of the Dorneywood residence. Well who is paying then ?

Appearing in the Commons on Wednesday for the first time since he was stripped of departmental briefs, Prescott defended his new portfolio.

The cabinet reshuffle earlier this month saw Prescott lose his department - which oversaw housing and local government policy - following the revelations over his affair with a civil service secretary.

But there has been anger that Prescott kept his title, salary , government Jaguar (with Driver) and other perks perks including grace and favour properties.

Shadow constitutional affairs secretary Oliver Heald, incredably suggested that Prescott's main role was as "a sort of marriage guidance councillor between Number 10 and Number 11".

But Prescott said that a key part of his job was chairing the cabinet committees."The prime minister has given me an important job to do and I am getting on with it," he added. One wonders who is now Prescott's diary secetery - any suggestion or indeed offers ?

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