Prescott ogledDiary Secretary Fromdayhe Began Job

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC TURNBULL

JOHN PRESCOTT relentlessly pursued his Civil Service secretary from the very first day she began working for him, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

New extracts from diaries kept by Tracey Temple disclose how Mr Prescott repeatedly made advances towards her, despite her attempts to rebuff him, and how he even flirted with her in front of Ministerial colleagues.

She describes in detail how the Deputy Prime Minister was 'eyeing her up' when they met for the first time the day after Labour's 2001 General Election victory.

And just five days later she confessed she felt uncomfortable about the way Mr Prescott continually looked at her.

The diary entries, published today in The Mail on Sunday, reveal how, after months of ogling, Mr Prescott attempted to force her on to the bed of his luxurious grace-and-favour London flat.

She had gone there along with Joe Irvin, Mr Prescott's then special adviser, as Mr Prescott was supposed to be working on a crucial speech to be delivered at the Labour Party conference. But as soon as Mr Irvin left, the Deputy Prime Minister made his move.

The diaries detail how Mr Prescott intimately touched his [pounds sterling]26,000a-year secretary as they sat in the back of his chauffeur-driven Government Jaguar and how he enjoyed 'dirty' conversations while she sat at her Whitehall desk.

The journals also provide an intriguing insight into Mr Prescott's marriage - until recently regarded as one of the strongest at Westminster.

It has traditionally been portrayed as a 44-year love match - despite the long periods of time Mr Prescott spent away from his family home.

Westminster observers have noted that Mrs Prescott was not a regular visitor to London, preferring to remain at home in Mr Prescott's Hull constituency.

But in the journals it is claimed on several occasions that the reasons for Mr Prescott's 'foul' moods was that his wife was staying London.

They also suggest that staff were briefed that his temperament was due to his wife's presence. And at one point it is said that Mr Prescott came into the office in order to escape from his wife the day before one of their sons was getting married. …