John Prescott (born Prestatyn, north Wales 1938) was Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2007, and remains Member of Parliament for Hull East. He has been deputy leader of the Labour Party since 1994. He is known for his love of the high life (he is nicknamed Two Jags for his collection of luxury motor vehicles) and for his combative personality (he was also nicknamed two jabs after brawling with a protester who had thrown an egg at him during the 2001 general election campaign). In 2006 he attracted controversy after it transpired that he had been engaged in a long-term extramarital relationship with his diary secretary, Tracy Temple.
Although born in Wales, Prescott grew up in Brinsworth, Yorkshire, England. He became a steward and waiter in the Merchant Navy before attending Ruskin College, University of Oxford, a college accepting adult entrants without the normal entrance qualifications. Subsequently, he obtained a BSc in economics at the University of Hull.
First elected to the House of Commons for Hull East in 1970, he held various posts in the Labour Party shadow cabinet before being elected deputy leader of the party in 1994, at the same time as Tony Blair was elected party leader. In 1997, when Blair's Labour government came to power, Prescott was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
In 2001, Prescott was also given responsibility for local government, environment and transport. In this capacity, he was criticised for his department's alleged incompetence in many areas, including the demolition of 200,000 homes when it would have been more cost-effective to renovate them.
In 2006, shortly after it transpired that he had been involved in a lengthy extramarital affair with his diary secretary, Blair removed his departmental responsibilities in a Cabinet reshuffle. However, he was criticised in the press for the fact that he retained his residence at Admiralty House and other "perks" of ministerial office.
On 31 January 2007, Prescott announced his intention to resign, as Deputy Prime Minister and as Labour Party deputy leader on 27 June, at the same time as Blair will resign as Prime Minister.