Lord Prescott suffered at the hands of street hecklers while on the campaign trail in Chester including one who accused him of being insensitive over Army deaths.
The former deputy prime minister, who was preaching his socialist message at The Cross in support of Labour’s Chester parliamentary candidate Chris Matheson and council opposition leader Cllr Samantha Dixon, was questioned by a man who wanted to know if an incoming Labour government would ‘accept an inquiry’ into four deaths of soldiers at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey.
Lord Prescott's response
Mr Prescott, who initially appeared not to know what the member of the public was talking about, said the deaths were ‘very disturbing’, adding: “I do support such an inquiry. That’s the only way you get social justice.”
The man replied that the issue had been dragging on for 19 years and he didn’t think the matter should be delayed any longer before walking off which was when Lord Prescott lost his cool.
He shouted after him: “Well, you’re a great one for questions. You can’t even listen to the replies. That’s the kind of guy you are, walking off, come back and answer, go and pick up your pint from UKIP.”
Lord Prescott smiled at his own response but this offended another male in the crowd who told him: “Someone died. It’s not funny though, is it?’ But the former MP for Hull, explained: “I know, but he can’t ask the question without waiting for the answer.”
What the public wants
Earlier some passers by had shouted ‘vote UKIP!’.
Another man politely questioned what Labour would do to improve the infrastructure because of mass immigration but was at pains to point out he was not racist, saying ‘I have nothing against anybody’.
A woman called for ‘more imagination’ from political leaders when she told Lord Prescott after his speech that many people were only voting Labour ‘to keep the Conservatives out’.
The visit had begun in good humoured fashion when Mr Prescott visited Chester Market where he met butchers Mark Johns and Geoff Hughes before seeing a replica of Chester made out of Lego which has increased footfall to the struggling hall at the back of The Forum.
A Lego version of Mr Prescott, who grew up in the city, can be seen standing on top of the Eastgate Clock but he joked at being unhappy that his jersey was in Conservative blue.
He said with real enthusiasm: “It’s theatre and this is the sort of thing people come in to have a look at particularly with women and kids. It brings them in.”
In Town Hall Square he told cheering party workers: “I’ve come here to make clear that Chester is going back to be Labour.”
After reminiscing about his memories of Chester he returned to politics, saying the Tories were exhibiting ‘sheer panic’ with a philosophy that ‘a policy a day keeps the electorate at bay’ and, following years of austerity, new promises daily, which now totalled ‘billions not millions’.
Labour parliamentary candidate Chris Matheson said Labour offered ‘a more positive vision’ than the other parties and, while accepting the vote in Chester will be close, was ‘pretty sure’ his party will triumph on May 7.